By ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER
For Circulation Among the Family.
* 443 0^420-
The following sketches of our great-grandparents' families
make no pretensions to genealogical method. Most of the
material used was either ready at hand or else jotted down at
long intervals with no appreciable waste of time. In almost
every instance trans- Atlantic origin is ignored as a matter of no
consequence to so long settled an American family as our own.
With no effort at tracing a lineage, but with the matter
in his own possession or inherited by other members of his family,
the writer has been able to extend the account of every branch of
his family very near to the sixteenth century. This is not an
isolated case, or even a rare one, in our country, where the
majority of colonial families offer a like spectacle. It was said,
by Franklin, about the time of our Eevolution from England,
that most of the inhabitants of the colonies were natives, and
descended from immigrants of the prior century.
The only excuse for printing, even for strictly private circu-
lation, these sketches of families not really distinguished in any
particular walk of life, is the gratification that it must be to their
descendants to recall, in these days of increased European migra-
tion, that they are among those who have the absolute right to
regard themselves as Americans. In one respect, a purely
American family has a characteristic which cannot be appreciated
by Europeans; that is, the total inability of such a family
to admit that any one is entitled by natural right, or excepting
from age and education, to take precedence of them. It is this
feeling which imparts solidity and dignity to the older types
of American families.
In conclusion, the writer would acknowledge his indebted-
ness to such works as Mr. Euttenber's admirable " History of
Newburgh, N. Y.," his native town; in a less degree, to the
late Mr. Eager 's " History of Orange County, N. Y. ; " to the
" Memorials " of his great grandfather, Thomas Powell, and of
the latter's son, James Powell, both works beautifully published
by the munificence of the late Mrs. Mary Ludlow Powell of
Newburgh ; to Mrs. Mary Powell Seaman Bunker, a Quakeress,
of Long Island, and an eminent genealogist ; to his relatives in
Maryland, and to many other kinsmen and friends.
The plan followed in arranging these sketches has been to
treat separately of our ancestral stocks, treating each great
grandparent as a stirps of descent. In this plan, naturally comes
first an account of the families of the parents of the writer's father
and then an account of those of his mother. It was originally
intended to amplify the sketches, but both courage and time
failed as the uncongenial duty was in course of fulfilment.
R L. F.
OUR LINE OF THE FOWLER FAMILY
WILLIAM FOWLER, of New Haven, 1637.
WILLIAM FOWLER, of Flushing, L. I.
On page 8, 9th line from top, read 1637 for 1737.
ROBERT LUDLOW ^uwum
THOMAS POWELL FOWLER.
JACOB SEBRING FOWLER.
WILLIAM S. GROESBECK FOWLER.
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER, Jr.
OUR LINE OF THE FOWLER FAMILY
WILLIAM FOWLER, of New Haven, 1637.
WILLIAM FOWLER, of Flushing, L. I.
JOHN FOWLER, of Newburgh, N. Y., b. 1686.-
ISAAC FOWLER, of Newburgh, N. Y.
ISAAC FOWLER, Jr., of Newburgh, N. Y.
CALEB FOWLER, of Newburgh, N. Y.
ISAAC SEBRING FOWLER, of Newburgh, N. Y.
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER.
THOMAS POWELL FOWLER.
JACOB SEBRING FOWLER. .
WILLIAM S. GROESBECK FOWLER.
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER, Jr.
Our own branch of this numerous family, long settled in
North America, are descended from William Fowler, an English-
man, who immigrated in the year 1637, and settled at New
Haven, where, says Mr. Ruttenber, the accurate historian of
Orange County, "being one of the few immigrants who had
received a classical education, he soon became a man of distinction,
and is known historically as ' the first Magistrate of New Haven.' "
William Fowler arrived in Boston from London, England, June
/<£ 3y 26th, 1737, in company with the Reverend John Davenport, and
others of "good character and fortune." Mr. Fowler was a
Puritan, and at home had suffered imprisonment as a nonconform-
ist. He left Boston on the 30th of March, 1638, for Quinnipiac,
the Indian name of New Haven, and in that colony he died in the
year 1660, greatly respected.
One of William Fowler's sons, Henry by name, removed from.
Fairfield, Connecticut, to the neighboring county in New York in
1664, where he died in November, 1704. In 1687 he conveyed
his house and home lot to his son William, then living in Flushing,
Nassau Island (now Long Island). On January 24th, l6$0,
William (2) Fowler married Mary Thome (daughter of John
Thorne), of Flushing. William (2) devised to his second son,
John, two hundred and forty acres of the residue of a tract in
Rye. John was born at Flushing in the year 1686. In 1742
John sold his land at Rye, his wife Abigail joining in the deed.
In 1747 he removed to the precinct of the Highlands, near
Newburgh, Orange County (then Ulster), N. Y.,with his sons, who
had bought a part of the Harrison Patent on November 6th, 1747.
There John died, and to this day some of his descendants continue
to reside at his homestead ; and there our father, Isaac Sebring
Fowler, was born.
Isaac Fowler, the son of John of Flushing and Newburgh, and
the great-great-grandfather of the writer of these notes, married
Margaret Theall,* of Westchester County, N. Y. The very
* Margaret Theall, daughter of Charles Theall, of Westchester, and great-granddaughter of
Captain Joseph Theall, who was admitted a freeman of Stamford, Conn., in 1662.
earliest records of the town of Newburgh show the name of this
Isaac Fowler as a freeholder, and in 1775, his son, Isaac, Junior,
appears to have signed the pledge of allegiance to the provincial
government of New York.
Isaac Fowler, Jr., son of Isaac and Margaret, was born at the
homestead April 30th, 17^6 ; he married Gloriannah, daughter of
Caleb Merritt of this Province ; she was born July 7th, 1758,
died May 2d, 1791. They had eight children, all born at the
homestead, at Middle Hope, on a part of the Harrison patent.*
My grandfather, Caleb Fowler, the eldest son of Isaac
Fowler, Jr., and Gloriannah Merritt Fowler, was born February
2d, 1775, at the homestead, Middle Hope, which he inherited,
and where he died March 8th, 1826. His brothers, Doctor Charles
Fowler, Doctor Francis and Doctor Isaac Fowler became physi-
cians of high local repute.
August 28th, 1798, Caleb Fowler married Catherine Sebring,
daughter of Isaac Sebring and Catherine Van Benschotenf (see
Sebring family), and by her had eleven children, all born at the
homestead at Middle Hope ; the youngest of these was the father
of the writer of these notes.
The eldest son, Peter Van Benschoten Fowler, was born
February 20th, 1800; in October, 1826, he married Eliza Du
Bois, a descendant of a long established and highly respected
family of Dutchess County, New York. Mr. Peter Van Ben-
schoten Fowler, as the eldest son, inherited the homestead farm ;
* Isaac Fowler's children were —
(1) Caleb Fowler, b. February 5th, 1775, d. March 3d, 1826.
/ (2) Martha, m. Dr. Baker.
(3) Dr. Charles.
(5) Neherniah, b. July 14th, 1784, d. March 3d, 1853.
(6) David, b. October 14th, 1786, d. September 3d, 1852.
(7) Doctor Francis.
(8) Doctor Isaac.
t The Van Benschoutens were among the original Dutch settlers of New York prior to 1664.
It was from their maternal great uncles, Matthew and Jacob Van Benschoten, that my own
uncles were severally named. These Van Benschotens were bachelors, and left a very large
property equally divided among all their kinsmen then alive — a great number— each getting a
considerable sum irrespective of the residuary. This was a very uncommon estate fifty years
ago in this country. Their brother, the Rev. Elias Van Benschoten, was a Dutch clergyman of
New York, educated in Holland according to an old New York custom. He left his estate to the
Dutch College Rutgers) at New Brunswick.
he died April 21st, 1875. The obituaries of Peter Van Ben-
schoten Fowler, written by townsmen of the family, seem to
well indicate whatever claim his life had to the respect of his
neighbors, and are as follows :
[From the Newburgh Journal.]
" The venerable Peter Van Benschoten Fowler, of the town
" of Newburgh, died last Wednesday, after a lingering illness,
" proceeding from a gradual decay of the physical powers. Mr.
" Fowler was born in February, 1800, and sprang on the paternal
" side from one of the oldest English families in the country, their
" ancestry being traceable to the Fowlers of Islington, a suburb of
" the city of London, of whom one Sir Thomas was a knight and
" baronet in 1630. In this country they settled in Massachusetts
" and Connecticut. About 1758 the family made its appearance in
" Newburgh, and ever since has taken a prominent part in our
" local history. The family has been spreading ever since, and
" now holds connection by direct descent and intermarriage with
" one of the largest family circles in a section of country noted for
" genealogical interlacing of family branches in a common trunk.
" The subject of this notice has been identified with the business
" and social life of the town and city of Newburgh from boyhood,
" and until a late period his tall and commanding form has been a
" familiar presence in our streets. He was a member and officer of
" the First Presbyterian Church, and for many years a director of
" the Highland National Bank."
[From the New York Observer."]
"Peter V. B. Fowler, an elder in the First Presbyterian
" Church, Newburgh, N. Y., who died in April last, was one of the
" oldest subscribers of the New York Observer, an influential
" citizen, and one of a distinguished family, that has resided on the
" same farm during the whole of the first century of the American
" Republic. He attained the ripe age of seventy-five years, a
" tower of strength in the church and community, leaving when
" he died a name and example to perpetuate his usefulness." *
The second son of Caleb, Doctor Gilbert Sebring Fowler,
* Peter Van Benschoten Fowler left two sons, the survivor of whom, Henry Du Bois Fowler,
now lives on the land where his grandfather's grandfather lived before him ; no mean title to
the respect of any well-ordered community, but one too little appreciated in our mobile society,
ambitious for quick success and greater distinction.
born April 11th, 1804, graduated from the University of Pennsyl-
vania, and began the practice of his profession in the city of New
York, but died young, in his 28th year, at his father's house,
where he also had been born. He was unmarried.
Matthew Van Benschoten Fowler, the third son of Caleb,
was born at the homestead, August 16th, 1814, died May 9th,
1881, in his 67th year. A little account of his life in the New
York Times of May 19th, 1881, is substantially accurate. He
was born at Newburgh, graduated by preference at the University
of New York, then the best in the State, though he had matricu-
lated at Columbia College. On his graduation he had the honor
of delivering the Latin salutatory. Mr. M. V. B. Fowler was
admitted to the bar of Orange County, where he was well
esteemed as a chancery lawyer, but he was much too retiring
in disposition to enjoy the active practice of his profession.
Throughout his life he retained an unusual taste for accurate
classical scholarship. When he died he was President of
the Commercial Insurance Company of the city of New York.
Those who knew him will bear witness to the excellent qualities
of his understanding, and to the unblemished integrity of his
life. Mr. Matthew Van Benschoten Fowler married, June 28th,
1837, Elizabeth Fowler Seymour, and left surviving him one son,
William Fowler, who was educated at Clausthal, in the Kingdom
of Hanover. The latter married but has no issue.
Jacob Van Benschoten Fowler, the fourth son of Caleb, was
born at the homestead, January 17th, 1817, and was well
educated at Dr. Anthon's once celebrated grammar school in the
city of New York. During an extended sojourn there, he lived
in the family of his friend the Reverend Doctor McMurray, then
the Minister of the Reformed Dutch Church in Market Street,
and father to the late Regent of the University. Jacob Van
Benschoten Fowler died on the Island of Nassau, W. I., May 13th,
1861. In his simple and unambitious life, Mr. Jacob V. B. Fowler
was much respected by those whose qualities permitted them to
appreciate him at his true worth. Owing to the thorough
training he had received under Doctor Anthon, then the most
considerable classical scholar America had produced, Mr. Jacob
Van Benschoten Fowler remained always more than a fair Latin
scholar. For several years in his younger life he taught a school
in his native township. He married twice — first Sarah Brinker-
hoff daughter of Derrick Brinkerhoff, a member of an ancient
Dutch family of the State of New York, and next, Miss Mary J.
Curry, of Newburgh. He left a daughter of each marriage — the
elder, Catherine, married to Dr. Avery, son of Professor Avery,
of Hamilton College ; the younger, Helen, unmarried.
Beside these sons, Caleb and Catherine Sebring Fowler had
several daughters who lived to grow to womanhood. Caroline
married Dr. Slater, and Amelia married Mr. William D. Weygant,
both of whom left issue. Theodore Weygant, Esq., of Portland,
Oregon, late Treasurer of the Oregon Steam Navigation & Rail-
way Company, is the only child of Mrs. Weygant.
Isaac Sebring Fowler,* the youngest child of Caleb and
Catherine Sebring Fowler, was born December 5th, 1822, at the
family homestead near Middle Hope, Orange County. He married,
September 6th, 1847, at St. George's Church, Newburgh, Mary
Ludlow Powell, the daughter of Robert Ludlow Powell and his
wife, Louisa Orso, and the great-granddaughter of Colonel
Charles Rumsey, of Cecil County, Maryland. (See Sketches of
Powell, Ludlow, Orso and Rumsey families appended.)
* Isaac Sebring Fowler and Mary Ludlow Fowler had four children —
(1) Robert Ludlow Fowler, b. April 15th, 1849, at Newburgh, N. Y., married at Elmhurst near
Cincinnati, June 1st, 1876, Julia, daughter of the Honorable William S. Groesbeck, of Ohio, and
granddaughter of Judge Jacob Burnet, a Senator in Congress, and great-granddaughter of the
Hon. William Burnet, member of the Continental Congress and a member of the Society of the
Cincinnati. Their children —
(1) William S. Groesbeck Fowler, b. September 1, 1877.
(2) Mary Ludlow Powell Fowler, b. August 21st, 1879.
(3) Robert Ludlow Fowler, Jr., b. April 5th, 1887.
(2) Thomas Powell Fowler, b. October 26th, 1852, at Newburgh, N. Y., married, April 26th,
1876, Isabelle, daughter of Benjamin F. Dunning, Esq. of Warwick, Orange Co. and 37 West
38th Street, New York City. (Mr. Dunning was long a partner of the celebrated counsel Mr.
Charles O'Conor.) Their children —
(1) Ruth Dunning, b. 23d March, 1877.
(2) Louisa Orso, b. 6th May, 1879, d. 28th April, 188if
(3) Isabel Wilson, b. 11th August, 1880.
(4) Alice Dunning, b. 22d March, 1883, d. 16th April, 188#
(5) Katharine Sebring, b. 24th March, 1885.
(6) Eleanor Gladys Rumsey, b. 24th February, 1888.
(3) Jacob Sebring Fowler, born at Newburgh, January 5th, 1854, died in Florida, February
2lBt, 1882, unmarried.
(4) Louisa Powell, b. March 9, 1856, married, (1) October 30th, 1871, Henry M. Benedict,
M.A., who died July 5th, 1875. Their son Lewis Benedict, born at Lausanne, Switzerland,
August 1, 1872 ; Mrs. Benedict married (2) William Rea Bronk, A.B., on May 8th, 1884.
The family of our father, Isaac Sebring Fowler, youngest
son of Caleb and Catherine, removed from our native town,
Newburgh, to the City of New York many years ago, for the
purpose of bettering his son's prospects.
Of the children of Isaac Sebring Fowler, the third son,
Sebring, died in 1882. The following obituary from the pen of an
old Maryland friend, now deceased, will serve perhaps to prolong
a little the memory of this very amiable person, who had passed
his life in many countries of the old and new world, always find-
ing friends and never enemies.
[From the ^Jgis and Intelligencer, Bel Air, Maryland, of
March 2Mh, 1882.]
" Mr. Sebring Fowler died at Port Orange, in Florida, on the
" 21st of February last. Mr. Fowler visited Bel Air a few sum-
" mers ago and made many friends, by whom he will be remem-
" bered for his genial manners and for his bright and cheerful
" disposition. He had been long in very delicate health, and
" died of some affection of the heart. Mr. Fowler was a native
" of Newburgh on the Hudson River, and his immediate family
" reside in the city of New York, but he was nearly connected
" with some well known Maryland families being the great-grand-
" son of Charles Rumsey, who v \s Colonel in the Revolutionary
" war, and whose descendants still live in Baltimore County."
It is perhaps not inappropriate to close with a quotation from
a sketch of our family contained in Mr. Ruttenber's History of
Newburgh and Orange County. He is kind enough to say,
" the members of this branch of the family have for many years
been among the most substantial citizens of the town, and dis-
tinguished alike for their public and private worth."
R. L. F.
OUR LINE OF THE SEBRING FAMILY
Major Cornelius Sebring,
b. 1653, in New Netherland (N. Y.)
Aeltje Fredericks Lubbertsen,
daughter of Frederick Lubbertsen, on Sept. 3d, 1682.
Their Fifth Child
b. May, 1693,
about the year 1714.
daughter of Joseph Howard, of Flatbush, L. I., N. Y.,
subsequent to 1740.
b. August 1st, 1752.
d. February 25th, 1830,
Catherine Van Benschoten,
daughter of Tunis, on December 31st, 1776.
b. January 19th, 1779,
d. December 14th, 1841,
Caleb Fowler, of Newburgh,
on August 28th, 1798.
Isaac Sebring Fowler,
b. December 5th, 1822,
Mary Ludlow Powell,
on September 6th, 1847.
Robert Ludlow Fowler,
b. April 15th, 1849.
daughter of Hon. William S. Groesbeck, on June 1st, 1876.
Thomas Powell Fowler,
b. October 26th, 1852.
daughter of Benjamin F. Dunning, Esq., on April 26th,
The children of the last two are the eighth generation.
My grandmother Fowler, nee Sebring, and her father, Isaac
Sebring (my father's grandfather), as may be seen from the pre-
ceding chart, were direct descendants of (1) Cornelius Sebring by
his wife Aeltje Fredericks Lubbertsen, both of Kings County, then
Nassau, but afterwards Long Island, in the Province of New York.
This Aeltje Fredericks Lubbertsen was the daughter of Frederick
Lubbertsen, one of the first European settlers in North America.
Frederick Lubbertsen settled at New Amsterdam in the year
1639. He was a sailor originally, and, I have reason to believe,
a native of Zeeland, as he was an intimate friend of that Maryn
Adriaensen, the freebooter, who, in the year 1643, at New Amster-
dam, threatened the life of the Dutch Director-General Kieft, the
predecessor of Stuyvesant. Adriaensen was certainly from the
Island of Walcheren, Zeeland. Frederick Lubbertsen appears,
soon after arriving, to have acquired some prominence in New
Netherland, as lie had the double honor to be a member of both
the first Dutch and the first English representative Assemblies
held in New York. In 1641 Director Kieft called the first
popular assemblage of the Dutch inhabitants, which is known in
the history of New Netherland as the "Twelve Men," and
Lubbertsen was one of them. In February, 1665, when the
Duke of York, afterwards James II., had assumed forcible
possession of New Netherland, Lubbertsen was chosen dele-
gate for Kings County to the convention called by the Duke's
Governor, Nicolls, and which met at Hempstead to ratify the
first English code of laws for New York. It will be remembered
that the English occupation of New Netherland was begun at the
English end of Long Island, then claimed by Connecticut. The
calendars of the Dutch manuscripts and the deeds of Kings
County show that Lubbertsen was the owner of much of that
part of the land on Long Island which is now the city of
Brooklyn, most of which he left to his daughter Aeltje (Mrs.
Aeltje Lubbertsen (Mrs. Sebring) was born in 1660, at
New Amsterdam, where she was baptised on July the 25th of
that year. Her mother was the first wife of Frederick Lubbert-
sen, and by name Steentje (Christina) Jansen. After the latter's
death Lubbertsen married Tryntje Hendricks, widow of Cornelius
Pietersen (Vroom), and may have had other issue,* but with
whom we have no concern. Aeltje Lubbertsen thus inherited
from her father a large estate, part of which he had from the
Indians, extending along the water front of much of what is
now the great city of Brooklyn. In September, 1682, she
was married to Cornelius Sebring, as the records of the Flat-
bush Dutch Church show. The entry, translated by Teunis
G. Bergen, the historian, is 'Aeltje Frederick Lubbertsen Van
der Kreest to Cornelius Sebring, Sept. 3, 1682.'
* Frederick Lubbertsen, by his will, dated March 28th, 1667, left his estate to his two
daughters, Aeltje, wife of Cornelius Sebring, and Elsie, wife of Jacob Hansen Bergen. See 1,
Stiles' History of Brooklyn and Bergen's History.
Cornelius Sebringh, or Sebring, as he ultimately spelled his
name, appears to have been a taxable inhabitant of Midwout,
Long Island, on the 20th day of September, 1676, and in the
lists of those who took the oath of allegiance to James II., in the
year 1687, we find his name, with the description "native" affixed.
(1 Doc. History, 659.)
About this time there would seem to be at least three
adult persons of the name of Sebringh, or Sebring, in the
Province of New York. Jan Roelefsen Sebringh, who in 1681
married Adriana, or Arientje Polhemus (daughter of the Reverend
Johannes Theodorus Polhemus*), was unquestionably the brother
of Correlius Sebring, as was, perhaps, Lucas Seberingh.f Cor-
nelius also stood at the baptism of one or more of Jan Roelefsen
Sebringh's children, as appears by the records of the Dutch Church
of Brooklyn. This Jan Roelefsen Sebringh and his wife ulti-
mately removed from this Province to the Dutch settlements
in New Jersey, where he continued to reside.
If Cornelius Sebring was a native of the Province, and tax-
■ able as an adult inhabitant in the year 1676, it is fair to presume
that he was born in New Netherland prior to the year 1655,
which would have made him about thirty-three years of age at the
date of his marriage in the year 1682. As a matter of fact, he was
about seventy years old when he died in 1723, so that he must
have been born in 1653. %
* The Reverend Johannes Theodorus Polhemus came, in 1651, from Itmarca, in Brazil,
where he was Minister in the Dutch West India Company's service. He was a descendant of
an ancient and respectable family in the Netherlands. He was the first clergyman of the Dutch
Churches of Midwout (Flatbush), Flatlands (Amersfoort) and Breukelen, Long Island. He was
succeeded by the Reverend Henricus Selyus. (A. J. Beekman's Short History Dutch Church,
t Lucas married Maretie Dorlant, April 25th, 1690. (See Onderdonk's Kings County
Marriages. MS. Brooklyn Historical Society.)
% It has been suggested to me by an antiquary that Cornelius and Jan Roelefsen Sebringh
(Sebring) were the sons of Jan Soubanich, who arrived out in New Amsterdam with a colony of
Drenthe folk, in the ship " Boutenae," on April 15th, 1660. Soubanich settled at Amersfoort
(Flatlands, L. I.), and in 1679, in an affidavit, he calls himself " Seebringh," but describes him-
self as a native of Drenthe, forty-eight years old. As this Jan Soubanich came out single in
1660 he could not have been the father of Cornelius, who was born in New Netherland about
the year 1653, seven years before Jan's arrival. Had Cornelius been the son of Jan, he must
have been born after 1660, to have been a native, which fact would have made Cornelius
younger than Aeltje Lubbertsen, his wife, who was born in 1660— an unlikely thing in a Prov-
ince where suitors were more plentif id than maids. For these reasons I exclude the hypothesis
that Cornelius was the son of Jan Soubanich, and leave his paternity to be discovered by some
one else with more leisure than the compiler, and a greater interest in European genealogies.
After their marriage Cornelius Sebring and Aeltje Lub-
bertsen settled down on a portion of her patrimony, largely
augmented during wedlock. Their homestead stood about on the
line of what is now Huntington Street, Brooklyn, between Hicks
and Columbia Streets, and their lands extended a mile or so along
the water's edge, embracing much of what is now South Brooklyn,
a goodly and picturesque estate even at that time.
Major Sebring (as Cornelius, of Long Island, was called in
colonial documents) had ten children :
(1) Adriana, or Adrientje (afterwards Mrs. Farden), was the
eldest child of the marriage, having been born in 1683,
and baptised July 22d of the same year.
(2) Frederick, the eldest son, was born in the year 1685, and
married, December 7th, 1711, Maria Provoost, a rela-
tive of the Reverend Doctor Samuel Provoost, first
Episcopal Bishop of the State of New York.*
(3) Catherine, married John Bon, or Hybon.
(4) Johannes, the second son, born about 1687, married (1)
Aeltje, (2) Rachel Hybon, and settled at Raritan, New
Jersey. The descendants of Johannes have been partly
collated by Peter Roome Warner, of New York, in a
very comprehensive volume.f
* For their descendents see "Provoost Family of New York," p. 13.
(1) Catherine, bap. October 4th, 1713.
(2) Aeltje, " October 5th, 1715.
(3) Maria, " December 29th, 1717.
(4) Cornelia, " April 17th, 1720.
(5) Cornelius, " March 25th, 1722.
(6) Margreta, " October 25th, 1724.
(7) Elizabeth, " March 29th, 1729.
(8) Frederick, " February 14th, 1730.
i9) Elizabeth, " March 18th, 1733.
t Barend, son of Johannes, married, May 9th, 1747, Susannah Roome, and had twelve
children. See " Descendants of Peter Willemse Roome," p. 160.
In the old records of the Reformed ProteBtant Dutch Church, Liber B., p. 3(54, appears an
amusing petition in the Dutch tongue signed by Barent Sebring. He petitions the Consistory to
take ecclesiastical jurisdiction in the case of Dr. Lambertus de Ronde, who had married
Susannah Sebring to a soldier without banns or license and without her parents' consent,
" thereby inflicting eternal disgrace on her family." The translation by Dr. Talbot W. Chambers
accidentally came into my possession during my professional connection with the Lauderdale
Peerage contest, which depended on the validity of a marriage in New York prior to our Revo-
lution.— R. L. F.
(5) The third son, and fifth child, Isaac Sebring,* ancestor of
Isaac Sebring Fowler (see Sebring Chart), was born in 1693 and
baptised May 14th, 1693, at the Dutch Church of Brooklyn.
"Witnesses : Theodoras Polhemus| and Aeltje Teunis Bogaert.
After him, in 1695, was born his sister (6) Cornelia, baptised
October 20th, 3695; she married Daniel Polhemus.f Elizabeth,
another daughter, born in 1698, died young and unmarried.
The fourth son, Jacob Sebring, baptised November 5th, 1697,
married Femmetje Vanderveer, and left issue. J
Besides these there were two other children, twins, born to
Cornelius Sebring and Aeltje Lubbertsen, viz., Abraham§ and
Maria, born 1702. The latter married Abraham Marshalk.
These ten children comprise the issue of Major and Mrs.
* Children of Isaac by his wife Catherine :
(1) Cornelius, m Mary Howard.
(3) Elizabeth, m. November. 1739, William Caverly.
(4) Aeltje, m. her cousin Cornelius Sebring of New York ; they had —
(b) Margaret Currie.
(O Isaac, b. 1736, d. May 1st, 1841.
(5) Catherine, m. Archibald Currie, merchant, of New York.
t A descendant of the Rev. Johannes Theodoras Polhemus, (ante p. 21).
t (1) Cornelius J. Sebring d. in 1774.
The obituary of Cornelius J. appears in Rivington's New York Gazette, October 11th, 1774,
as follows : " Died the 2d of August last, at Tortola, after five days' illness, Mr. Cornelius Sebring,
of this city, merchant, a gentleman much esteemed here, and whose death is greatly lamented."
This Cornelius J. Sebring was of the firm of Clarkson & Sebring, old fashioned ante-
revolutionary New York City merchants.
(2) Femmetje Sebring, b. 1737, m. Reinier Suydam.
(3) Jan Sebring, b. 1738.
§ Among the descendants of this family was Letitia Sebring, who married Hendrick Suydam,
August 30th, 1762. She died February 14th, 1765, leaving a son, John Suydam, who married
Jane Mesier, and had issue —
(1) Maria, m. Philip M. Lydig.
(3) Peter Mesier.
(4) John R.
(7) David L
(8) James A.
(9) Jane, m. William Remsen.
It remains to give a brief account of Major Cornelius Sebring
himself, as lie was a man most highly respected in the Province.
Prior to the Revolution almost the entire legislative power of the
Provincial Government was vested in the Provincial Assembly
and Council, and consequently representation in the Assembly
was much sought after by the leading inhabitants. Major Sebring
served his county as a representative in the Provincial Assembly
for a period of twenty-eight years uninterruptedly, or from 1695
until his death in 1723. Elected in 1695, Major Sebring took his
seat with his colleague, Major Cornelius Van Brunt, at the suc-
ceeding session, in the places of Major Gerardus Beekman and
Mr. Myndert Coerten. In 1698, we find Major Sebring's name
among the members who withdrew because of the party feud
between Gouverneur and Nicoll ; and subsequently he was one of
the active enemies of Robert Livingston, who, as Victualler to
His Majesty's Forces, was ostensibly called to account for a large
sum of the public moneys — a proceeding greatly condemned by
Smith, the colonial historian.
In 1699 Mr. Sebring was one of the committee, with Mr.
Gouverneur and the Mayor of New York, for the examination of
the public accounts. In 1701 we find him closely associated with
Rip Van Dam, the most active and conspicuous of all the former
Dutch inhabitants under the English regime. In 1708 Mr.
Sebring brought in the bill entitled "An Act for the better Pre-
serving sundry Dutch Wills, Contracts and other Writings." A
Leislerian and a Dutchman, Mr. Sebring appears to have remained
to the end of his days.
He generally came from his house, in order to attend the
Assembly in the city of New York, in a boat of his own, which
seems to have taken a quasi public character, for the Assembly
Records show that on October 15th, 1708, Mr. Sebring com-
plained to the Assembly " that one Christopher Den has seized his
boat that he generally comes in to this city from his own house,
knowing him to be a member of this House, and in the hearing of
several members told him that he was glad to hear it was a boat
belonging to a member of this House. Resolved, That the same
is a breach of privilege, and a great contempt of the House."
The next day Den was taken into custody by the Sergeant-at-
Arms, and on the 22d of October he humbly prayed the House to
pardon his offence. A month later Den paid a fine and was dis-
charged from imprisonment, after being lectured by the Speaker.
This little incident is interesting only as an evidence of the power
of the colonial Assembly to punish for contempt out of its
presence — a power recently denied it by our State courts of
In 1723 Major Sebring departed this life, leaving a hand-
some estate and an untarnished name to his descendants. He
was unquestionably one of the conspicuously prosperous men of the
Province, having a large landed property adjacent to the city of
New York, and at the water's edge, much of which was sacrificed,
during the long Revolutionary War, by his descendants. Major
Sebring had, besides his estate in Brooklyn, several thousand
acres in Orange and Ulster Counties, 6,000 acres in Delorm's
Patent, and lands in other Provinces.
Major Sebring left the sum of two thousand pounds current
money of New York, to be paid to his wife and divided among his
daughters. This, it will be remembered, was a large sum for
those days, when money was far from plentiful and possessed of
great purchasing power. Major Sebring, though a member of
the Dutch Church in communion with the Classis of Amsterdam,
appears to have been not illiberal, for in the list of subscribers to
rebuild the steeple on Trinity Church, New York City, in 1711,
he gave one pound, although Gabriel Ludlow, the warden, gave
but eleven shillings. Pip Van Dam, the most conspicuously rich
man in the Province, gave but two shillings more.j
Confining the further narrative to the Sebring descendants
of our line only, Isaac Sebring, the third son of the first
Cornelius, inherited a large part of the family property in Brook-
lyn. It extended for a mile or more along the water front, now
the best part of Brooklyn.
* Matter of William McDonald, 32 Hun, N. Y. 563.
t Berryan's History Trinity Church.
Isaac (1) Sebring married Catherine, or, as she spells her
name in a deed to Ferdinand Suydam, dated April 12th, 1760,
(Liber B., Conveyances, Kings Co.), Catryntie. Her maiden
name was probably Catherina Lefferts.*
In Isaac Sebring's will, dated September 14th, 1771 (Liber
36, p. 443, Wills, New York Co.), he mentions his wife Catherine,
his daughter Aeltje, wife of Cornelius Sebring, of New York, and
his son Cornelius. Besides these, he left a daughter, Margeretta,
baptised at New Utrecht, Long Island, April 30th, 1727.
The son Cornelius (2) of Isaac (1) purchased property in
Dutchess County, New York, in 1772 (Liber 9, Conveyances, p.
150, Dutchess Co.) He is in the deed described as of Kings
County, on Nassau Island, in the Province of New York. At the
time he probably bought this tract for investment, but at the
Revolution's breaking out he removed to Dutchess County, within
the Continental lines, with other members of his family. Stiles,
in his History of Brooklyn (vol. I., p. 306), says : " The Sebrings,
" who were Whigs, left the island with or shortly after the depart-
" ure of the American troops, in August, 1776. The Cornelius
'' Sebring house and mill were burned or partially destroyed by
" the British ; and owing to this, and the length of the war, they
" found themselves, on their return, much impoverished, and were
" obliged to dispose of their property, which was purchased, as we
" have stated, by their neighbors and relations, the Cornells."
These latter occupied the fine old house now known as the old
Pierrepont Mansion, a drawing of which is given in Stiles'
Of the second Cornelius, my great-great-grandfather, I am able
to state only that his name appears as the first entry in the Bible
of the Dutchess County Sebring family and that he married Mary
Howard, a daughter of Joseph Howard, of Flatbush, Long Island.
Joseph Howard bequeathed to his daughter Mary, wife of Cor-
nelius Sebring, twelve hundred pounds, current money of New
* The Record of the Dutch Churoh Marriages in old Brooklyn was taken to Nova Scotia by
a Tory Clerk during the Revolution, and is no longer in the Archives of the Church. It is
probably lost and Catherine's maiden name does not appear in family documents.
York (Lib. 34, p. 190, New York Wills), a not inconsiderable
sura for a daughter's portion in those days. Of this Cornelius, the
New York Gazette, November 20th, 1759, says : "On Sunday week
" last past a large bear passed the house of Mr. Sebring, Brooklyn,
" and took the water at R,ed Hook, attempting to swim across the
" Bay, when Cornelius Sebring and his miller immediately pushed
" off in a boat after him. The latter fired and missed, on which
" Mr. S. let fly and sent the ball in at the back of his head, which
" came out of his eye and killed him outright." At all events, our
ancestor was a capital shot. It is not unlikely, from this para-
graph, that this Cornelius (2) Sebring superintended the tide-
water mill on his Brooklyn property, afterwards known as
Luqueer's Mill, and which undoubtedly belonged to him until the
The history of these old mills, so favorably situated right
on the great bay, accessible to all ships, is interesting, and
they were a considerable source of revenue prior to the Revolu-
tion. The flour and corn interests were originally the main
wealth of the farming element of the Province and the old arms
of New York Province were intended to indicate this fact.
Cornelius, during the Revolution, August 6th, 1781, deeded
to his son Isaac (2) Sebringf part of the Dutchess County purchase
(Liber 9, p. 156, Dutchess County). Isaac (2) Sebring married,
* There were several mills on the old Sebring property. In August, 1689 (Liber 1, Convey-
ances, Kings County, p. 105), a contract between Cornelius Sebring and John Marsh of New
Jersey, provided for the erection of a water mill for grinding corn. Marsh was to pay 70'1 feet
of good canoe wood and to grind the corn for the Sebring family as long as the mill stood.
This was afterward's known as Cornell's Mill subsequent to the Revolution.
This mill seems to have gone to Jacob Sebring (1 1 in the division, and the Luqueer's Mill to
Isaac Sebring. Both mills were old landmarks well known in the old history of Kings County.
t Isaac (2 1 Sebring, son of Cornelius (2) and Mary Howard, born at Brooklyn, August 1st,
1752, died in Dutchess County, February 25th, 1830. By his wife, Catherine Van Benschoten, he
had issue as follows :
Tunis Sebring, b. September 27th, 1777, d. September 26th, 1813.
Catherine (Fowler 1 , b. January 19th, 1779, d. December 14th, 1841.
Hannah (Bruce), b. August 16th, 1780, d. May 1st, 1824.
John, b. September 21st, 1782, d. August 8th, 1783.
Amelia (Tooken, b. August 16th, 1784, d. April 5th, 1839.
Abigail (Budd), b. October 29th, 1785, d.
Sarah (Bogardust, b. April 24th, 1788, d. January 17th, 1852.
Maria (Budd>, b April 2d, 1790, d. September 25th, 1839.
Margaret (Graham >, b. March 26th, 1792, d.
Cathaline, b. May 6th, 1794, d. July 7th, 1794.
Jacob, b. May 18th, 1796, d.
December 31st, 1776, Catherine Van Benschoten, daughter of
Tunis Van Benschoten, of Dutchess County. Their first daughter,
Catherine Sebring, was the writer's grandmother. The issue of
Isaac Sebring and Catherine Van Benschoten appear in the notef
on page 27.
Cornelius (2) Sebring returned to Brooklyn after the evacua-
tion by the British, but his son Isaac (2) Sebring, my great-
grandfather, while he frequently visited his relatives in Brooklyn,
then but a small village, never again went there to live. I have
it from Samuel DeMott, an old gentleman, and a native of
Brooklyn, how regularly these visits were looked forward to in
My great-grandfather, Isaac Sebring, with one exception, a
son, Jacob Sebring, left no male issue. This Jacob Sebring, my
grandmother's brother, died childless, the last of his name in
our family. But this family name is borne by my father,
Isaac Sebring Fowler,f and by my brother, Jacob Sebring Fowler,
whom we lost in the year 1882.
* " 219 Montague Street,
" Dear Sir : " Brooklyn, March 27th, 1885.
" I received your letter of the 22d. I do not think my reply adds to our conversation with
reference to the Sebring Family. When I look around I find all the old people your great-
grandfather used to visit on Long Island when I was a boy dead for many years. I will here
state that I have heard my relatives state that during the Revolution the Sebrings moved to
Fishkill, or ' out of the lines ' as it was then called. Your great-grandfather used to visit us.
I remember him quite distinctly. He and my grandmother called each other cousin. Nicholas
Boerum, an old gentleman born at Gowanus opposite or near the Sebring property, was also a
" Yours very truly,
To Robert Ludlow Fowler, Esq. " SAMUEL H. DeMOTT."
t Isaac Sebring Fowler, born December 5th, 1882, married Mary Ludlow Powell, September
6th, 1847, and had issiie —
(1) Robert Ludlow Fowler, born April 15th, 1849, lawyer, married Julia Groesbeck on June
1st, 1876 ; their children—
(1) William S. Groesbeck Fowler, b. September 1st, 1877.
(2) Mary Ludlow Powell Fowler, b. August 21st, 1879.
(3) Robert Ludlow Fowler, .Jr., b. April 5th, 1887.
(2) Thomas Powell Fowler, born October 26th, 1852, lawyer, married, April 26th, 1876,
Isabelle Dunning ; their children —
(1) Ruth Dunning.
(4) Alice Dunning.
(5) Catherine Sebring.
(6) Eleanor Gladys Rumsey.
(3) Jacob Sebring Fowler, bom January 5th, 1854, died unmarried, February 21st, 1882.
(See his obituary, Fowler Family).
(4) Louisa Powell Fowler, born March 9th, 1855, married (1) at Geneva, Switzerland,
October 30th, 1871, Henry M. Benedict, Esq., M.A., who died July 5th, 1875 ; (2) William Rea
R L. F.
SKETCHES OF OUR MOTHER'S FAMILY.
Our mother's father, Robert Ludlow Powell, was, by his
father, of Quaker stock, but his mother's race, the Ludlows, were
a Church of England family, long settled in the Province of New
York. Our mother's mother, Louisa Ann Orso, was a daughter
of Jean Baptiste Orso, a Creole of Louisiana, by his wife, Anne
Rumsey, daughter of Colonel Charles Rumsey, of Cecil County,
Maryland. An account of these several families follows in their
order : Powell, Ludlow, Orso, and Rumsey ; thus embracing a
brief description of all our ancestors, ex parte materna as well
as ex parte paterna. Of my great-grandparents on my mother's
side, three I knew well : Thomas Powell, his wife, Mary Ludlow,
and best of all, my great-grandmother Orso (Anne Rumsey), to
whose excellence I have borae faint testimony in my sketch of
her family — the only one of these sketches that I took a sincere
pleasure in writing.
R. L. F.
OUR LINE OF THE POWELL FAMILY
THOMAS POWELL of L. L, b. 1641.
ROBERT LUDLOW POWELL.
MARY LUDLOW POWELL (FOWLER).
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER,
THOMAS POWELL FOWLER,
JACOB SEBRING FOWLER.
Their children are the ninth generation from the first
Thomas Powell of Lone; Island.
The first of our mother's branch of this family in America
settled on Long Island, and, from contemporary accounts,
seem to have been unusually well esteemed. Our ancestor
Thomas Powell, whom I call the first, bought a large tract
of land of the Indians, called the " Bethpage Purchase." It
extended from what is now Jerusalem Station on the Long Island
Railroad, across the Minetto Hills to Huntington, thence through
the hollow to Massopequa, thence across to Jerusalem Road, and
back to the station. Mr. Powell, some time before 1695, lived
at Bethpage, where he removed in 1685. This first Thomas Powell
was a very active member of the Society of Friends, being one
of the founders of old Westbury Meeting, L. I. His name
appears frequently in the early annals of the Friends of the
Province of New York. In the Rate Lists of the year 1683,
Mr. Powell appears to be far the richest inhabitant of that part
of Long Island, and he no doubt was such, for he left by will*
a fine property for that time to his children.
* Sec liia will, page 302, liber 9, N. Y. Surrogate's office
Of the trans-Atlantic origin of the first Thomas Powell I
know little except that he was a Welchman. About the time of
his first appearance in America many of his name appear to have
suffered imprisonment in the old country by reason of religious
persecution, and immediately subsequent to this, the name of
Powell appears in America. This Thomas Powell was born in
August, 1641 ; died December 28th, 1721, in his 80th year. He
was twice married, the second time to Elizabeth Phillips of Long
Island, on September 2d, 1690.
By a former marriage, the first Thomas had a son Thomas,*
who was a landholder in Huntington in 1688. The second Thomas
married, 1st September, 1691, Mary, daughter of Thomas Willetts
of Long Island. The second Thomas Powell died testate 27th
September, 1731, having among other childrenf a son Richard,
who was born April 17th, 1704. Richard married in 1739, and
appears, from a quaint letter addressed by him to old Westbury
Meeting, to have been also a Friend as his father and grandfather
had been before him. His letter is as follows :
" To the Monthly Meeting of Friends at Westbury, to be held ye
30th of third mo , 1739.
" Dear Friends :
" These lines may acquaint you that I am under some concern
" of mind for my misstep in ye way that I was married, w r hich was
" on this wise, I having made my application to her that is now my
" wife, not doubting but that we might come before the meeting
" and be allowed to pass the same, and having gone on so far that
" we could not reverse our desires, and being discouraged from
" making application to ye preparative meeting by some of ye
" members thereof, did inadvisedly and without ye counsel and
" advice of Friends, procure a license from ye Governor, and was
" married by a Justice of ye Peace, which hasty and unadvised
" marriage, contrary to ye practice and good order used and
* He had other children — John, married Mary Hallock ; Jonas, Caleb, Elisha, Wait, Hannah,
bom May 28th, 1691, married William Willie ; Phoebe Abigail ; Rachel (Willetts) ; Elizabeth
(Titus) ; Mercy (Seaman).
t The children of Thomas (2) and Mary — died 1739 — were :
Thomas (3) died 1757, Waitt, Amos, Moses, Richard, Josiah, Isaac and several daughters, one
of whom, Martha, married Francis Keen and had Mary Keen, who married her cousin Henry
Powell, son of Richard.
See his will, Liber 11, New York Surrogate's office.
" established among Friends, I do condemn, and do desire that for
" ye future, I may walk more circumspectly.
" From your friend,
" The 30th of 3d mo., 1739."
It is almost needless to say that this frank apology for this
now trifling breach of discipline was accepted by the meeting, and
that Richard was reinstated in his membership, and remained
throughout his life a consistent and exemplary Quaker.
Richard's eldest son Henry,* was the grandfather of our
grandfather. Henry Powell was married to his cousin Mary
Keen, our great-great-grandmother (daughter of Martha Powell
Keen), by license of the Royal Governor of the Province of New
York, issued in the year 1762. For this departure from Friends'
discipline the following entry, taken from the records of old West-
bury Meeting, shows that he was expelled from the Society :
"26, lmo, 1763.
"In the matter of Henry Powell marrying out of the unity of
" Friends to his first cousin, it was again resumed and considered
" of, and it appears to the sense and judgment of this meeting,
" that inasmuch as he was sufficiently treated with in a dissuasive
" manner to desist from proceeding in marriage to his near kins-
" woman, before marriage, and he hath not received the counsel and
" advice of Friends, but gone contrary to the rules of our discipline,
" and left Friends.
" Therefore, he is disowned as a member in unity with us, until
" he is sensible that he has gone contrary to the order of truth,
" and condemns the same with sincerity of mind to the satisfaction
" of Friends.
" Signed by order of the Meeting,
" By SAMUEL WILLIS,
Henry appears to have been more stiff-necked than his father,
for there is no trace of his apology in Westbury Records.
llonry Powell was drowned at Shelter Island in the year
* Richard's will, Liber 29, Wills, p. 274, N. Y. Surrogate's office, is dated 7th day of tho 3d
mouth, 1774, aud bequeathed all his laud "that lyeth at Cold Spring" to his eldest son Henry
1781 ; his remains, and those of his wife Mary are interred at
Newburgh, N. Y., in old St. George's Cemetery. There is a some-
what florid sketch of Henry Powell in the Eulogy of his grand-
son, James Powell, brother of Robert, written by Doctor A.
Gerald Hull, once a celebrated physician of New York ; but
this sketch, founded in part on oral tradition, indicates forgetful-
ness of fact in minor particulars unnecessary to notice. Mr.
Ruttenber's account of the Powell family in his History of
Orange County, is, according to his wont, much more accurate.
Our great-great-grandparents Henry Powell and Mary Keen
were the progenitors of some persons now even better known
than our great-grandfather Thomas Powell. The eldest daugh-
ter of Henry, Freelove Powell, married Jacob Parish and had
The second son of Henry Powell, Jacob Powell, if we may
judge from the opinion of his contemporaries, was a very strong
character. He never married but did much to improve the
fortunes of his family. (See Eager's History of Orange County,
p. 154; Ruttenber's History of Newburgh, 402). After his
* (1) Henry, m. Susan M Delafleld.
(2) Daniel b. 10th November, 179G, in. Mary Ann Harris.
(1) John Harris.
(•2) Sarah Elizabeth, m. Robert J. Dillon.
(2) Mary N., m. T. B. Baldwin.
(3) Mary Powell, m. John J. Kingston! ; their children—
(1) John Parish Kingsford.
(2) Mary Ann.
(3) Louisa Carey, m. Dacres T. C. Belgrave, H. M. 97th Reg.
(4) Anna Parish.
(5) Margaret Sewell.
(7) Daniel Parish.
(8) Helen Parish.
(9) Kennett Jeken.
(4) Henry, m. Elizabeth H. Wainright ; seven children.
(1) Julia Wainwright.
(4) Edith Codman.
(G) Daniel Powell.
(7) Edward Codman.
(3) Martha, m. Allen M. Sherman.
(3) Thomas Parish.
father's death, Jacob, in 1788 removed to Orange County, N. Y.,
and was uniformly successful in " the mercantile and carrying
trade and as a private banker " for a very large section of country
for which Newburgh was then the entrepot.* At his death,
in 1799, his extensive property went wholly, I believe, to our
great-grandfather Thomas Powell, his partner in all his financial
operations as well as his younger brother.
Thomas, the third son of Henry, and the father of Eobert
Ludlow Powell, our grandfather, was born on Long Island in
1769. The character of this Thomas, fifth in descent from
Thomas (1), is perhaps sufficiently indicated by the proceedings at
a public meeting of the citizens of Newburgh, held on the 15th
day of May, 1856, to pay a tribute of respect to his memory.
At this meeting Judge John W. Brown, a distinguished Judge of
the Court of Appeals, said among other things : " There was one
peculiarity in Mr. Powell's character which entitles him to
honorable and grateful remembrance. The pride of wealth is the
infirmity of ignoble minds. He had no such weakness. He was
without doubt, for many years the richest man in all this portion
of the State, yet the influence of his circumstances wrought no
change in his habits and manners or in his genial and kindly
intercourse with his fellow-men. The simplicity and economy of
his youth remained unchanged to the close of his life. He
disdained the empty and idle display, the luxurious ease of the
fashionable quarters of a great city. He chose rather to dwell
in the country upon the banks of this noble river, in sight of
these lofty and beautiful hills, and to dispense and distribute
his wealth where it had been mainly acquired, in the employment
of labor, in the navigation of the river, the construction of roads,
the improvement and embellishment of his property and the
mercantile enterprises of the firm of which, at the time of his
death, he was the senior partner. It is true that his house was
for many years the abode of a generous, and I may add, a refined
* Before the days of railways, Newburgh was one of the most important points in the coun-
try. It was the outlet of a great part of New York State, of New Jersey and the West. It bids
fair now, I am told, as a manufacturing centre to surpass its quondam importance.
hospitality, but it was dispensed without the pride of wealth or
the ostentation of affluence." Judges McKissock and Monell
spoke in a like strain of Mr. Powell.
The writer of this sketch barely remembers his great-grand-
father Powell, as he was but seven years old when that gentleman
died. What personal impression was formed was perhaps not
so correct as that of maturer persons better fitted to form an
opinion. Mr. Thomas Powell married Mary Ludlow, daughter
of Eobert Ludlow, in the year 1802. This lady was, in her way,
a somewhat unique character, but admirably well adapted to aid
her husband.* They had four children, but two of whom
married. The eldest son of this marriage died in 1834 unmarried.
Our grandfather (for whom I was named), Robert Ludlow Powell,
the second son, died young; he married Miss Louisa Ann Orso,
daughter of Jean B. Orso, and granddaughter of Colonel Charles
Rumsey of Cecil County, Maryland.f They were married by the
bridegroom's uncle, the Reverend Doctor John Brown, Rector of
St. George's Church, Newburgh, June 20th, 1827. Robert
Ludlow Powell's descendants are given below 4 James Augustus,
the third son of Thomas Powell, was drowned on his homeward
journey from Union College. Jacob, the fourth son, died young,
in 1816. Frances Elizabeth Ludlow Powell, the only daughter
of Thomas, married a New England gentleman and had issue. §
* See sketch of Ludlow family, by R. L. F.
t See Orso and Rumsey families.
t Robert's children —
(1) Frances Elizabeth Ludlow, died young.
(2) Mary Ludlow, m. Isaac Sebring Fowler ; their children were—
(1) Robert Ludlow, m. Julia Groesbeck of Ohio.
(2) Thomas Powell, m. Isabelle Dunning of New York.
(3) Jacob Sebring, died unmarried.
(4) Louisa, m. (2) William Rea Bronk, A.B.
(3) Henrietta, m. W. A. M. Culbert, M.D., A.B., their only child
(1) Francis Ramsdell Culbert.
§ Frances E. L., m. Homer Ramsdell, and had—
(1) Mary Ludlow, died young.
(2) Frances Josephine, m. Maj. O. W. Rains, U. S. A. and C. S. A.
(3) Thomas Powell.
(4) James Augustus Powell.
1 5) Henry Powell.
(6) Homer Stockbridge, m. Maud, daughter of David M. Clarkson, Esq.
(7) Leila Rains.
The other children of Henry Powell and Mary Keen were
Martha, who married Benjamin Townsend,* and Eliza, who mar-
ried William Seymour,f and was the grandmother of all the Ker-
nochan family of New York. Miss Seymour, who married Mr.
Kernochan, by her dignity, modesty and worth, did much to estab-
lish that influential family in the respected positions in life
which they have all attained. The elder members of the Parish
family, whose success has been also marked in the metropolitan life
of this great country, I believe, concede that they owed much to the
judicious advice and interest of their mother's brothers, Jacob and
Thomas Powell, the first of their family after the Revolution to
take advantage of the dawning era of prosperity.
B. L. F.
* Their children-
m. N. Harcourt.
m. Johannes Jenkins.
Jacob P., m. Mary A. Barrett and had ten children :
t Eliza Powell Seymour had two daughters :
(1) Mary, m. Col.
XL S. A. ; they had-
( 1 ) Augusta.
(2) Isabella, m. Major Foot, U.S.A.
(5) Thomas Powell.
(2) Margaret, m. Joseph Kernochan, Nov. 25, 1823 ; they had —
(1) William Seymour, m. (1) Miss Mamie JDoud, Md. (2) Eliza Winthrop of N.Y.
(2) Eliza Powell, m. George Garr of Louisiana.
(3) Mary Josephine, m. Edward Louis Livingston.
(4) Margaret, m. Augustus Montgomery.
(5) James Powell, m. Catherine Lorillard.
(f>) John Adams, m. Charlotte Ogden, (2) Louisa Marshall.
(7) Henry Parish, m. Grace Ogden.
( 8) Anna Adams, d. an infant.
(9) Francis Edward, m. Abbie Learned of Pittsfield.
(10) Joseph Frederick, m. Mary S. Whitney.
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OUR LINE OF THE LUDLOW FAMILY
b. November 2d, 1663.
m. April 5th, 1697,
Robert Crommelin Ludlow,
October 7th, 1781.
Robert Ludlow Powell,
Louise A. Orso.
Mary Ludlow Powell,
Isaac Sebring Fowler.
Robert Ludlow Fowler,
Thomas Powell Fowler,
Jacob Sebring Fowler.
Their children are of the eighth generation in our line from
the first settler.
The family of Ludlow was early established in the Province
of New York, though not nearly so early as other ancestral
branches of our family. The Ludlows were not among the first
settlers of the Province. The pioneer of this name, the elder
Gabriel Ludlow, arrived in the city of New York only about
A.D., 1694. He is commonly stated to have been of the Hill
Deverell branch of the great English family of the same
name, and it appears that this tradition had the assent of
an historian, the Tory Judge Jones, even prior to the American
Revolution (1 Jones' History of the Revolution, p. 232). It is re-
peated in numerous works relating to New York. The accuracy
of this tradition, so devoutly believed by many of his descendants,
is perhaps, not a graceful subject for verification, excepting by
one bearing the surname of this family. Besides, the writer
has not deemed it a subject of sufficient importance to these
papers, to warrant, on his part, any original investigation whatever.
A letter on this subject to the writer, by Thomas W. Ludlow,
Esq., of Ludlow, N. Y., the present representative of Gabriel
Ludlow, in the male line, is the best presentation of the argu-
ment on this subject, and I venture to insert it verbatim:
" December 27, 1882.
" Your note of December 12, regarding the Ludlow family,
was forwarded to me by Dr. Carnochan, only a few days ago.
" I have by me no formal proof of the immediate ancestry of
Gabriel Ludlow, the first of the New York family to come to
America. This proof must be obtained in England. In the mean-
time, the following facts afford indirect proof of the identity of the
New York branch of the Ludlow family with the family of the
same name long established in Wiltshire.
" First. The testimony of the Ludlow family records, which
were compiled originally by Martha Ludlow (b. about 1752, d.
about 1820), a granddaughter of Gabriel Ludlow and Sarah
Hanmer, and a first cousin of your great-great-grandfather
Robert Crommelin Ludlow. In preparing this record Martha
Ludlow had the benefit of the testimony of Gabriel Ludlow's
children, and that of the original documents belonging to him,
relating to his family, which were sent to England about 1820,
in connection with the Harrison will contest, and were lost at sea.
" Miss Arabella Ludlow at one time owned the box belonging
to Gabriel Ludlow, in which these papers were always kept. The
box is now in the possession of Mrs. Carroll. There is no reason
to suspect that Martha Ludlow's record was prepared in bad
faith ; the manifest errors in it are such errors as can with diffi-
culty be avoided in preparing family histories from insufficient
data, or with too much reliance upon memory or tradition. I
mean mistakes in generations, and confusion of persons bearing
the same first names ; such errors as are constant, even notorious,
in Burke. Gabriel Ludlow, according to the record, was born at
Castle Carey, in Somerset, on November 2, 1663, and was the
son of Gabriel Ludlow. These items I believe to be correct. The
record goes on to say — or to imply — that the American Gabriel
was a grandson of Edmund Ludlow (not Sir Edmund, the Gen-
eral, who had no children). This is probably incorrect; at least
the Edmund, son of Sir Edmund, to whom this statement has
been in general referred, was probably not the right one. It is
more than probable that the grandfather, or, perhaps, the father
of the American Gabriel Ludlow, was one of the seven brothers of
Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Ludlow, and Sir Henry Ludlow,
the ancestor of the Earls of Ludlow. This, I may add, would
explain, in some measure, why my grandfather's first cousin,
Peter E. Ludlow, was considered by the family to be the heir to
the titles of the Earls of Ludlow.
" Second. Our arms are the same as those of the Earls of
Ludlow. I have them engrossed on a seal, which is certainly as
old as 1750, and is, perhaps, much older.
" Third. At the time of the British occupation of New
York, the last Earl of Ludlow, then Captain Augustus Ludlow,
stayed at the house of Thomas Ludlow, and the family connection
was mutually acknowledged. My uncle, Mr. Thomas W. Ludlow,
son of Thomas Ludlow, afterwards met this gentleman in England.
" Fourth. I have the first Gabriel Ludlow's copy of the
memoirs of General Ludlow. Upon fly-leaves of this work are
memoranda written by Gabriel Ludlow in 1712, and a translation
by him of the epitaph of General Ludlow in the Church of St.
Martin, at Vevey. This translation is dated 1723.
" Fifth. The high position taken at once by Gabriel Ludlow
upon his arrival in New York, at a time when there was much
aristocratic distinction in the colony, is of interest. He was one
of the first vestrymen of Trinity Church. Among the godparents
of his children appear the following names : Chief Justice William
Morris ; Madame Eliza Nanfan, wife of the Lieutenant-Governor ;
Colonel Caleb Heathcote ; Mrs. Broughton, wife of the Attorney-
General. There is on record, at Albany, a crown grant by George
II., dated 1731, I think, conveying about 4,000 acres in the High-
lands on the western bank of the Hudson River, to Gabriel
Ludlow and his son William, ' of the City of New York, gentle-
" I am, very truly yours,
" THOMAS W. LUDLOW.
" To Robert Ludlow Fowler, Esq."
Assuming that the lady chronicler referred to in Mr. Lud-
low's letter to the writer is accurate, and there is no good reason
to think that she is not, the Hill Deverell connection of the family
is established. But what is of more consequence at this day, is
that the family certainly occupied a position of undoubted respect-
ability, from its advent to America. Indeed, it may be said that
no one family of the Province, outside of those whose superior
sagacity enabled them to endow themselves with the fee simple of
great tracts of the more accessible wild lands, seem to have been
more highly respected in the Colonial History of New York.
The first American Gabriel Ludlow, married at the Fort in
New York City, on " Easter Monday, the 5th of April, 1697,
Sarah Hanmer, one of the daughters of the Rev. Joseph Hanmer,*
* Dr. Hanmer had other daughters in the Province, as shown by the following petition, filed
in 1691 with the Governor. (Vol. 37—33 N. Y. Col. MS8 ) :
"To His Excellency, Henry Stoughton, Esq, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief over the
Province of New York, and to the Honorable Council :
"The humble petition of Catherine, Hester, Sarah, Abigail Hanmer, Orphans of Doct'r
Joseph Hanmer, deceased,
" Humbly sheweth :
' ' That y 'r Petitioners by the unexpected losse of their dear father are fallen into a deplor-
able condition, and having no Relacons here to make their Addresse to, humbly implore your
Excellence and y'r hon'rs to take their very necessitous state into y'r consideration, they
wholly relying on this Honorable board for their assistance. And whereas y'r Petition'rs are
wholly destitute of any present maintenance, humbly beg that the sallary lately accrewing to
their deceased father may be paid to them for their subsistance in such manner as your
Excell'y shall think most convenient, and that Letters of Administration may be granted to
Charles Lodwick, to administer on ye estate.
" And your petition'rs as in dutr " ind, shall ever pray.
" Catherine Hanmeb.
' ' Hester Hanmeb.
" Sabah Hanmeb.
" Abigel Hanmeb."
All of these ladies subsequently married leading colonists, and their descendants testify to
their worth to this day.
The following order was made on the petition, as appears in the Colonial Minutes of the
Doctor of Divinity, deceased, and Chaplain to His Majesty's forces
in the Province of New Brunswick, in America, by the Rev. Mr.
Seymour Smith, Chaplain of the said forces, between the hours of
10 & 11 of the clock in the morning."
It seems that this curious Puritanic name — Gabriel — was,
before the English revolution, a family name of the Ludlows in
England. A certain Gabriel Ludlow was killed at the battle of
Newbury, in 1644 (v. General Ludlow's Memoirs, Vol. 1, p. 129),
and otherwise, the connection of this ancient English family
with the Puritans is a matter of history. So much for the English
The first Gabriel Ludlow, of New York, and his wife, Sarah
Hanmer, had twelve children, whose blood flows in many of the
older families of the Province and State of New York, the
Morrises, the Hoffmans, the Livingstons, the Ogdens, the Van
Rensselaers, the Mortons, the Seatons, the Van Homes, and
others equally reputable.
My account will be confined to the family of the second son
of the first American Gabriel, also a Gabriel. The second Gabriel
was our direct ancestor. He was born in the city of New York,
where he married first, Frances Duncan, and through this mar-
riage are descended the Livingston Ludlows, the Verplancks, the
Dashwoods, and the Carrolls of New York. This second Gabriel
married for a second wife, Elizabeth Crommelin, daughter of
Charles Crommelin,* and by her had : (1), Daniel ; (2), Robert
Crommelin Ludlow, our great-great-grandfather ; (3), Mrs. Lewis ;
" Council Minutes, Vol. 6, p. 13.
'• At a Council held att Fort Will'in Henry, 13, April, 1691. Present, His Excellency the
" In answer to the Peticon of the Daughter of the late Doct'r Hanmoro, praying their
father's Sallary may be allowed towards the payment of their father's Debts, and their own
"Ordered, that the sallary be paid from the sixth of Jamiary, '89 unto the daye of his
death, to such as they have desired should administer."
* The Crommelins were a very ancient family in New York. Charles Crommelin married
Ann Sinclair in New York, in 1706. Daniel, one son of this marriage, was born in New York, and
removed to Holland, where he became a great banker, and his house was long a correspondent
of the old American house of Brown & Ives. Singularly enough, Claude Crommelin, a descend-
ant of the Holland Cromnielins, visited America some thirty years ago. He was officially con-
nected with the Court of Holland. While hero he visited the Ives and Goddards of Provi-
dence, the Verplancks of Fishkill, and our great-grandmother Powell at Newburgh, N. Y.
(4), Mrs. Dashwood. From Daniel, the first son, are descended
Mrs. Kearney Warren, and other well-known residents of the
City of New York. The second son of Daniel, Kobert Crommelin
Ludlow, our grandfather's grandfather, was born January 5, 1758,
and married, October 7, 1781, Elizabeth Conkling, a cousin of
Judge Conkling, the father of the late Hon. Eoscoe Conkling.
Kobert Crommelin Ludlow and his wife Elizabeth removed
in the last century to Orange County, New York, where his
maternal grandfather, Daniel Crommelin, then had an interest in
a large tract of land known as the Wawayanda Patent. Daniel
Crommelin had purchased this land in 1704, and named his
portion " Grey Court," after his native place, a village in the
circle of Grey, in upper Saone, France. Robert Crommelin
Ludlow and his family removed from Gfory Court, Orange
County, to the neighboring town of New' argh, N. Y., in the
I maj 7 be pardoned for thinking that the descendants of Robert
Crommelin Ludlow, of Orange County, were, and are to-day, wor-
thy of this family, and certainly quite as notable as those of
their congeners who chose the larger opportunities of the metro-
politan city of America. Yet those of the Ludlow descendants
who were identified more particularly with the City of New York,
were all reputable, and some few of them conspicuous for charac-
ter and excellence. With several of them, Mrs. Ludlow Dash-
wood,* her daughters, the late Mrs. Archibald Gracie, and Mrs.
Thornton Rodman, and her sister, Miss Arabella Ludlow, my
family have always been on terms of pleasant intercourse.
The sons of our great-great-grandfather, Robert C. Ludlow,
of Orange County, were all officers in the navy ; the daughters all
persons of worth. (1), Captain Charles Ludlow, the eldest son,
first chose the navy as his profession. He married, August 5,
1811, Margaret Thornton Mackaness, became a country gentle-
man and threw up active service. He had one daughter, Eliz-
* Mrs. Dashwood was a daughter of Gulian Ludlow. Her husband's mother was also a
Ludlow. The Dashwoods, themselves, were of a famous English family, one of whom, an
English officer, settled in America several generations before.
abeth Ludlow (now Mrs. Thomas W. Chrystie, of Windsor Hill.)*
(2), Robert C. Ludlow, Jr., U. S. N., b. 1787, in Orange County,
married Catherine Wethered, of South Carolina, f Their young-
est daughter married James Carroll, Esq., of Baltimore, Mary-
land, the head of the Carroll family. The others died young.
(3), Augustus Crommelin Ludlow, U. S. N., b. 1792, in Orange
County, was unmarried ; he was Lieutenant of the U. S. Frigate
Chesapeake, and was killed with Captain Lawrence in the mem-
orable engagement with the British ship Shannon. He has the
reward of a cenotaph in Trinity Church yard, New York, and a
eulogy by the great Justice Story, who said of him : " His soul
was formed for deeds of active valor and martial enterprise. In the
mild engagements of peace, it softened into the most attractive
suavity of manners and wore the most benignant form of honor."
Of the daughters of Robert Crommelin Ludlow, Mary Ludlow
married Thomas Powell and had issue, Robert Ludlow Powell,
our grandfather, and Frances Elizabeth Ludlow (Mrs. Ramsdell).|
* Mrs. Chrystie had
(1) Margaret Adden.
(2) Thomas Ludlow Mackaness, M.D., m. Julia Ross.
(a) Thomas Ludlow.
(b) Katharine Ross.
(c) Frances Nicholson.
(3) ^Mary Ludlow, m. James Nicholson Chrystie, had
(a) Frances Nicholson.
(c) Edward K. Pennett.
(4) Frances Nicholson, d. Dec. 26, 1875.
t Robert C. Ludlow, Jr., had
(1) W. Bainbridge.
(3) Mary (Carroll).
(4) Robert C.
% (1) Robert Ludlow Powell, married Louisa A. Orso.
His daughters —
(A) Mary Ludlow, m. I. Sebring Fowler, had
(a) Robert Ludlow Fowler, m. Julia Groesbeck.
(b) Thomas Powell Fowler, m. Isabelle Dunning.
(c) Jacob Sebring Fowler.
(See his obituary, Fowler family, p. 13 ante.)
(d) Louisa Powell Fowler.
(B) Henrietta, m. Dr. W. A. M. Culbert, had one son,
Francis Ramsdell Culbert.
(2) Frances, married Homer Ramsdell, had
(A) Mary Ludlow.
(B) Frances Josephine, m. Maj. G. W. Raines, U. S. A
(C) Thomas Powell.
(D) James Augustus.
(E) Henry Powell.
(F) Homer Stockbridge, m. Maud, daughter of David Clarkson, Esq.
(G) Leila Rains.
The second daughter of Robert Ludlow, Frances Ludlow,
married November 15, 1819, the Reverend John Brown, D.D., for
more than sixty years the Rector of St. George's Church, New-
burgh. Mrs. Brown left issue, among whom were Mrs. Eugene
Brewster, the wife of the most distinguished lawyer in our portion
of the State, also Mrs. Daniel Rogers (of an old Newburgh fam-
ily) and Mrs. Kerr, the latter the wife of the highly respected
President of the Bank of Newburgh. Mrs. Brown's descendants
are given in the note.*
* Frances Elizabeth Ludlow (born June 9th, 1798, died April 19th, 1872), married Rev.
John Brown, £>.D. (born May 19th, 1791, died August 15th, 1884), on November 15th, 1819.
Their children were —
(1) Mary, b. October 23d, 1820, m. Daniel T. Rogers, Jtdy 9th, 1884 ; whose children were—
(A) Mary Brewerton, b. April 25th, 1845.
(B) John Brown, b. July 3d, 1848, died August 15th, 1881, m. Elizabeth T. Jordan,
May 8th, 1871 ; their children were —
(a) John Brown, b. February 12th, 1872.
(b) Mary, b. July 16th, 1876.
(c) William, b. November 28th, 1878.
(2) Margaret Thornton Ludlow, b. December 9th, 1822, d. April 1st. 1877, m. George W
Kerr, June 9th, 1847 ; had
(A) Frances Ludlow Kerr, m. A. Smith Ring.
(a) Thomas Ludlow Ring, b. August 8th, 1886.
(B) Mary, b. September 21st, 1849, d. Oct. 31st, 1866.
(C) John Brown Kerr, m. Elizabeth Case, Nov. 16th, 1881 ; their children—
(a) Marian Margaret, b. March 7th, 1883.
(b) Katherine, b. May 16th, 1885.
(D) Walter Kerr, m. Anna C Southwick ; their children —
(a) Margaret Frances, b. August 3d, 1885.
(b) Anna Crawford, b. Dec. 22d, 1886, d. March 29th, 1887.
(E) Augusta Vincent, b. March 8th, 1854.
(F) Charles Ludlow Case, b. August 27th, 1855, m. Dec. 23d, 1884, Mary E. Ward ;
their child —
(a) Helen W.
(G) Margaret, b. March 26th, 1857.
(H) Anna Wilhelmina, b. December 24th, 1859.
( I ) George W., b. January 16th, 1862.
(J ) Hobart Ely, b. December 17th, 1863, d. 1864.
(K) Helen, b. March 1st, 1866.
(L) Elizabeth Case, b. July 11th, 1868.
(3) William, b. Sept. 13th, 1824, d. June 11th, 1825.
(4) Ludlow, b. May 5th 1826, d. September 7th, 1826.
(5) Helen Macleod, b. February 10th, 1828, d. September 18th, 1834.
(6) Frances Elizabeth b. August 25th, 1829, d September 10th, 1832.
(7) Augusta Pamela, m. Moses Ely, October, 1855, had
(A) Eliza Josephine Ely, b. April 6th, 1859, m. Albert S. Thayer, December 4th, 1884 ;
their children —
(a) Ellen Thayer, b. December 15th, 1885.
(b) Lucy Ely, b. November 9th, 1887.
(8) John Hobart, b. May 12th, 1832, d. October 19th, 1868.
(9) Anna Wilhelmina, b. December 25th, 1836, m. June 15th, 1859, Eugene A. Brewster ; their
(A) Frances Elizabeth, b. May 3d, 1862, d. October 20th, 1865.
(B) Eugene Augustus, b. January 11th, 1866.
(C) George Richard, b. November 17th, 1873.
(D) Anna Wilhelmina, b. December 14th, 1875.
(10) Charles Ludlow, b. December 3d, 1838,
The third daughter of Kobert Ludlow, Ann Ludlow, was
the mother of the late Kobert Ludlow Case and Admiral Augustus
Ludlow Case, U. S. N.*
E. L. F.
* Ann Ludlow married, first, Benjamin Case ; second, Elisha Case— half brothers.
Children of Benjamin Case —
(1) Robert Ludlow, m. Mary Ann Gibson.
(A) Catherine Gibson.
(B) Anna Ludlow.
(C) Mary Josephine.
(D) Kobert Ludlow, m. Fanny Livingston Waring.
(a) Florence Livingston.
(b) Alice Ludlow.
(c) Augusta Ludlow.
(E) Frank Dashwood.
(F) Elizabeth R., m. John B. Kerr.
(a) Marian Margaret.
(G) Frances Powell.
(3) Augustus Ludlow, m. Anna Rogers.
(B) Annie Rogers, m. Charles Deering, TJ. S. N.
(C) Augustus Ludlow.
(D) Daniel Rogers, m. Helena Sanderson.
(6) Frances Ann.
(6) Mary Powell.
(7) Charles Ludlow.
Child of Elisha Case—
(1) Margaret Thornton Ludlow, m. Nathaniel Hunt and died without issue.
OUR LINE OF THE ORSO FAMILY
JEAN BAPTISTE OESO of Louisiana.
JEAN BAPTISTE OESO.
LOUISA OESO (Mrs. E. L. POWELL).
MAEY LUDLOW POWELL (Mrs. I. S. FOWLEE).
EOBEET LUDLOW FOWLEE,
THOMAS POWELL FOWLEE,
JACOB SEBEING FOWLEE,
Our mother's mother, Miss Louisa Ann Orso, was married
on the 20th of June, 1827, at St. George's Church, Newburgh,
N. Y., to Robert Ludlow Powell, by the bridegroom's uncle, the
Kector, the Reverend Dr. Brown. This lady was the second
daughter of Jean Baptiste Orso, Creole of New Orleans, by Anne,
his wife, daughter of Colonel Charles Rumsey, of Cecil County,
Maryland. Of the Rumsey family in this country we are able to
give a more complete account, but not one so complete of the
Orso family, who lived in a quarter more distant from us.
Jean Baptiste Orso was born at New Orleans, in Louisiana,
in the year 1774, at his father's house in the Rue St. Pierre, near
the Place d'Armes. His parents were natives of Louisiana, but
originally of a Corsican family. In Corsica, the name Orso, and
in Italy its derivative, Orsini, are well known. To readers of
Prosper Merimee the name, Orso, will be familiar as the name of
a character in the beautiful Corsican tale "Columba," and the
name is also closely associated with the old feud called the
" vendetta." (Morris's Wanderings in Corsica.)
At the time of our great-grandfather's birth his father, Jean
Baptiste Orso, and his mother, Madame Louisa Orso, had removed
from the coast to a fine old house in the present French quarter,
in the Rue St. Pierre, where my great-great-grandmother,
Madame Orso, after her husband's death, continued to reside.
In the last century New Orleans was but a small town — at
least till the great fire of 1788 — but the street in which Mr. Orso
was born was substantially the same under both the French and
the Spanish control. Our great-grandfather Orso had two
brothers, Zenon and Antoine, and several sisters — Rosalie, Louisa
and Madame Xauphi. Zenon removed to Mobile, where he mar-
ried Caroline Hollingen, daughter of Madame Suzany, of Paris,
France. Colonel Zenon died in the year 1813, at Mobile. His
obituary indicates that he was highly respected both at Mobile and
at New Orleans : it is taken from the Courrier de la Louisianc,
Nouvelle Orleans, Vendredi 20, aout, 1813 :
" Est d^cede a la Mobile le 5 de ce mois, a l'age de 27 ans,
M. Zenon Orso, Creole, de la Louisiane, et colonel dans la Milice.
M. Orso fut bon pere et tendre epoux. De nombreux amis que
ses bonnes qualites lui avaient attaches, versent des larmes sur sa
tombe. La societe perd en ce malheureux jeune gentilhomme un
des membres qui en faisait l'ornement."
Antoine removed from New Orleans to St. Domingue (Hayti)
in the last century, when it was at the height of its prosperity
under European control. He occasionally visited my great-grand-
father's family at Philadelphia. Antoine died, unmarried, prior
to the independence of the island. Kosalie married a Mr.
Baldwin ; Louisa, a Mr. Garcia.
At one time during the French occupation our great-grand-
father, Jean Orso, also thought of settling in St. Domingue, and
the writer of this sketch has now in his possession an elaborate
old work entitled, "Description Topographique et Politique de
l'lsle St. Domingue," which Mr. Orso acquired about the time he
was debating this new removal. In the year 1796 Mr. Orso, how-
ever, came to Wilmington, Delaware, where Mrs. Charles Eumsey,
of Cecil County, Maryland, was then residing, for the purpose of
educating her daughter. In that year Mr. Orso was married to
Miss Anne Eumsey, by the Hector of the old Swedes' Church,
Wilmington. The young couple immediately removed to Phila-
delphia, where Mr. Orso had many friends from his own terri-
tory and from the Franco-Spanish Islands of the Caribbean Sea.
Indeed, the French-speaking colony was then so large in Phila-
delphia that there was a French press at the corner of Front and
Walnut Streets, and a French society, entitled Societe Philo-
sophique de Philadelphie, as well as numerous other organiza-
tions of a kindred character. The Philadelphians had then close
commercial relations with New Orleans, as well as with St.
Domingue, and affairs brought Antoine Orso occasionally to
Philadelphia. It was in Philadelphia that Mr. J. B. Orso spent
the happiest years of his life, and there his two children were
born — Charlotte Orso, born August 16, 1798 ; Louisa A. Orso,
born January 26, 1806.
Although bred to the Catholic faith, Mr. Orso subsequently
conformed to the Episcopal communion, in which his wife's family
were born. While at Philadelphia everything prospered with
Mr. Orso, and in business he ultimately became associated with
the celebrated financier, Mr. Biddle. Mr. Orso had been edu-
cated to affairs in a notary's office in New Orleans, where he
acquired those excellent methods peculiar to the old notaries
of Latin countries, who occupy an official as well as a busi-
ness status, just as notaries still do in France. Among the
French in Philadelphia, Mr. Orso seems to have continued to
occupy a kindred position. He was the general banker and
notary of the foreign quarter of Philadelphia, and one greatly
While he was prospering in his vocation, Mrs. Orso unfort-
unately persuaded her husband to remove, in the year 1812, to
New York, where her mother and sisters, Mrs. Thomas Ellison
and Mrs. Bullus, then resided. Both sisters were extremely well
placed in New York, Mrs. Ellison having married a gentleman of
fortune, one of the oldest landed proprietors in the State, and a
part owner of the celebrated Ellison and De Peyster water grant.
Mrs. Bullus was married to Dr. Bullus, a considerable poli-
tician, then the Navy Agent at the port — an office now, I believe,
modified. The Rumsey family circle was thus practically in New
York, and it was not unnatural that Mrs. Orso should wish to be
with her mother, who lived in winter with her daughter in town,
and at the country residence of Mr. Ellison in the summer.
At his departure the French colony in Philadelphia, as a
token of their regret, presented Mr. Orso with a very beautiful
gold medal, inscribed, " a J. B. Orso, l'amenite reconnoisante."
It is still preserved by the family in Maryland. In New York
Mr. Orso had been promised advancement, and a company for the
manufacture of powder for the war pending with England was
formed for him by his brother-in-law, Dr. Bullus — who was a
friend of Mr. Madison's administration — by Mr. Decatur, a brother
* By an old law of Pennsylvania there were six notaries in Philadelphia with extraordinary
powers, similar to those in Louisiana.
to the renowned commodore, and by other friends. But the new
venture was neither successful nor to Mr. Orso's taste, and he
soon abandoned his investment and went temporarily to reside
at the estate still known as "Woodlawn," near New Windsor,
Orange County, N. Y., a place then belonging to Mr. John Elli-
son, Mrs. Orso's nephew, but not occupied by him. The Ellisons
were at that time mainly residing in Westchester County, where
they had been placed, at their father's death, by their friend the
Eight Eeverend Bishop De Lancey, whose brother married one of
the ladies of the Ellison family.
After Mr. Orso's removal to New Windsor, the Ellisons con-
cluded to come to their property in the neighborhood of New-
burgh. Prior to that time the Orsos had had few neighbors of
their own type besides Captain Ludlow's family at Windsor Hill,
the Verplancks not yet having come to that neighborhood.
Even the late Mr. Blackburn Miller* did not yet reside on the
beautiful old estate, originally bought of Mrs. Edward Bullus
From New Windsor Mr. Orso removed to the neighboring
town of Newburgh, and there both his daughters, Charlotte and
Louisa, were married. On November 22d, 1830, Charlotte
married William Y. Day, Esq., of Baltimore County, Maryland, a
gentleman at whose family place, " Taylor's Mount," the writer
and his family always enjoyed the kindest hospitality, f
Louisa, Mr. Orso's second daughter, married, 20th June,
1827, our grandfather, Kobert Ludlow Powell. The children
of this marriage were: (1) Mary Ludlow, born January 14,
1829; married Isaac Sebring Fowler.| (2) Henrietta,! born
* Mr. Blackburn Miller was the eon of Christopher Miller, a well-known sea captain out of
New York City. His grandson now resides on Mrs. Bullus's former place,
t Mrs. Day had issue :
(1) Edward, married Laura Ogle, of the eastern shore of Maryland, an adopted daugh-
ter, and niece of General Foreman ; he has one daughter.
(2) Orso, married Miss Drake ; has issue.
(3) Charlotte, unmarried.
(4) Agnes, died young,
t Mrs. Fowler's children :
Kobert Ludlow, m. Julia Groesbeck ; has issue.
Thomas Powell, m. Isabella Dunning ; has issue.
Louisa, m. (1) H. M. Benedict, (2) William Eea Bronk ; she has one son.
§ Mrs. Culbert's only son : Francis liamsdell Culbert.
December 30, 1833 ; married Dr. William A. M. Culbert. They
both have issue.
In the year prior to his death Mr. Orso was induced to pur-
chase a small estate, suitable to his fortune, in Baltimore County,
Maryland, called " Green Oak " (now the summer residence of his
grandson, Edward Augustus Day, Esq., of "Taylor's Mount"),
and he removed there with his daughter, Mrs. Powell, and her
children, including our mother; but as soon as he realized the
perpetual isolation, and saw the gloomy forests with which
" Green Oak " was then surrounded, he declined to live there.
This disappointment, following others, soon led to his death, and
he lived only a short time after his return to Newburgh. He
died in 1833, and was interred in the family vault of his brother-
in-law, the late Thomas Ellison, Esq., of New Windsor. Mr.
Orso was a highly educated man of great refinement, speaking
idiomatically three languages — French, Spanish and English.
His miniature, by Malbone, belonging to the writer, shows a
very interesting countenance, even with the usual powdered hair
once in vogue among gentlemen.
The moral to be drawn from the fate of Mr. Orso is,
" Let well alone," and that changes are disastrous. Had he con-
tinued in Philadelphia, he promised to reach the very front rank
of fortune and distinction, but his forced removal marred his
prospects and shortened his life, to the great regret of his friends.
E. L. F.
OUR LINE OF THE EUMSEY FAMILY
CHAKLES RUMSEY, of Cecil County, Maryland (in 1675).
WILLIAM RUMSEY, b. April 21st, 1698.
Col. CHARLES RUMSEY, b. 1736.
ANN RUMSEY (Mrs. ORSO), b. 1778.
LOUISA ORSO (Mrs. R. L. POWELL).
MARY LUDLOW POWELL (Mrs. I. SEBRING FOWLER).
ROBERT LUDLOW FOWLER,
THOMAS POWELL FOWLER,
JACOB SEBRING FOWLER.
Their children are the ninth generation from Charles Rumsey.
Our ancestor, Colonel Charles Rumsey, of Cecil County,
Maryland, has always interested our family more than any other
of our forbears — perhaps because we knew so well, so long and so
affectionately his daughter, my great-grandmother Orso (Ann
Rumsey). Mrs. Robert Ludlow Powell, the daughter of Mrs.
Orso, was our mother's mother.
Our intercourse with the various branches of this family — the
Ellisons of New Windsor, the James Rumseys of Fishkill, the
Bulluses and Mortons of New York, the John Beal Rumseys of
Maryland, and our yet nearer kinsmen, the Days of Taylor's
Mount, Maryland — have been among the pleasantest of our family
When my brother died, some one of the Rumseys in Maryland
wrote the only words of public comment which his brief career
warranted. They were the following :
[From the ^Egis and Intelligencer, Bel Air, Maryland,
of March 24, 1882.]
" Mr. Sebring Fowler died at Port Orange, in Florida, on
the 21st of February last. Mr. Fowler visited Bel Air a few
summers ago and made many friends, by whom he will be remem-
bered for his genial manners and for his bright and cheerful dis-
position. He had been long in very delicate health, and died of
some affection of the heart. Mr. Fowler was a native of New-
burgh, on the Hudson River, and his immediate family reside in
the city of New York, but he was nearly connected with some
well known Maryland families, being the great-grandson of
Charles Rumsey, who was colonel in the Revolutionary War, and
whose descendants still live in Baltimore County."
Colonel Charles Rumsey, the father of Mrs. Orso, was the
grandson of Charles Rumsey (by Catherine, his wife, married
September 26th, 1675), the first settler of his name in Maryland.
The first Charles took up lands at the head of Bohemia River,
Cecil County, where he was a large proprietor. This first
Charles Kumsey, of Maryland, was the son of Colonel Kumsey, an
old English officer who had distinguished himself in Portugal
and under Cromwell, but who had figured too extensively in
the conspiracy in the reign of Charles II., and — unfortunately
for his peace in England — he became a witness against his
friend Lord Russell. One grandson of the first American Charles
and Catherine, is by some claimed to be the real inventor
of steam navigation in this country, and extensive biographical
notices of him continue to be produced.
The will of the first settler, Charles Kumsey, is as follows :
" In the name of God, amen. I, Charles Kumsey, Planter,
of Cecil County, in the Province of Maryland, being in perfect
health and soundness of memory, calling to mind the uncertainty
of life, and that it is appointed for all men once to die, have made,
and by these presents ordain this, my last will and testament, in
manner and form following, hereby making void and null all wills
formerly made by me.
"Imprimis, I give my soul unto Almighty God, my Creator
and Redeemer, in hope of a glorious resurrection to Eternal Life,
and my body to the Earth, to be decently interred after my death,
at the discretion of the Executors hereinafter named.
" I give and bequeath unto my eldest son, Charles Kumsey,
the Plantation I now live upon, with the dwelling house and other
buildings and improvements thereon, with 150 acres of land
thereto, on the North side of the Neck, the longest way to be laid
out by a line through the middle of said Neck, when he shall
attain the age of twenty-one years (or at the death or marriage
of his mother), to be and remain to him, the said Charles, and
the heirs male of his body, forever.
" I do give and bequeath unto my said son Charles, as a
legacy, one small gun, a pistol, a cutlass, a jointed cane, and a set
of silver buttons with my name thereon.
" I will and bequeath to my second son, William Kumsey,
one hundred and fifty acres of land, lying on the South side of
my plantation, being one-half of that Neck of land, to be divided
between him and my son Charles Kumsey, by a line through the
middle of said Neck as aforesaid, to be and remain unto my son
William Kumsey, and the heirs male of his body, forever.
" I do give and bequeath unto my said son, William
Rumsey, as a legacy, one trumpet muzzled gun.
" I give and bequeath unto my youngest son, Edward
Rumsey, one hundred acres of land at or near Back Creek, in the
said County, called the " Adventure," when he shall attain the
age of twenty-one years, to be and remain to him, and the heirs
male of his body, forever.
" I do give and bequeath unto my said son one trumpet
" My will and pleasure is that my just debts, funeral ex-
penses and legacies being paid out of my personal estate, the rest
of my personal estate remain to the use of my wife during her
widowhood, for the bringing up of my children as aforesaid, and
one-third part of all the rents and profits of all my lands and
tenements, and other of my estate real, during her natural life.
But if it so happen that my wife die or marry before my youngest
son, Edward Rumsey, comes of age, then all my personal estate,
goods and chattels to be equally divided among all my children,
sons and daughters ; or, if she never do marry, then the same to
be divided at her death.
" My intent and meaning is, that all my said sons shall
every one enter upon his estate aforesaid when and as they come
to the age of twenty-one years, notwithstanding their mother do
then live, and she unmarried ; only, she shall have the best room
in the house during her widowhood.
" And in case any of my sons happen to die, leaving no male
issue, or before they attain to the age of twenty -one, then the
estate aforesaid shall fall to his eldest brother then living or his
male issue, and so of the rest forever.
" And if all my sons should die leaving no male issue, then
and in such case my will is, that these estates aforesaid shall fall
to all my daughters, or to their issue lawfully begotten, male or
"And lastly, I do nominate and appoint my beloved wife,
Catherine Rumsey, and my two sons aforesaid, Charles and
William Rumsey, my Executors, to see this my last Will and
Testament duly performed, which shall stand in force notwith-
standing any former or other Will or Wills by me made.
" Witness my hand and seal, this 3d day of December, Anno
"CHARLES RUMSEY. (Seal.)
" Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of
" Obadiah Hoult.
" John Smith.
" William Davis.
" Proved December 6th, 1717, before me,
" Matt'w Venderheyden,
"Dep. Commissioner of Cecil Co., Maryland."
William Rumsey, the son of the first American Charles, was
born April 21st, 1698. He also was a planter, but able to fill the
functions of land surveyor, as so many colonials were. This
William Rumsey laid out Fredericktown. At the same time he
was a Collector of Customs in his district for the Province of
Maryland. He married Sabina, daughter of Colonel Benjamin
Bladenburgh. His will was proved in 1742. " Happy Harbor " he
left to his wife; to his son Charles, the "New Hall," "Concord"
and " Mill Pond " properties. Colonel Charles, our great-great-
grandfather, was William's son, and was born at the New Hall
estate, Cecil County, in 1736. He married on February 8th,
1762, Abigail, Jane Caner,* born 1746, the daughter of the
Reverend Richard Caner, f a distinguished colonial clergyman of
the Church of England.
* This amiable and excellent lady inherited from her mother, Mrs. Caner, a considerable
property. Mrs. Caner was the daughter of Benjamin Peck, the original owner of old Peck Slip
and a large landed property in New York City. Indeed, until recent years, some of the Rumsey
family continued to inter in the old Peck Vault at Trinity Church. When Mrs. Caner became a
widow she married Reverend John Hamilton, of North Carolina, and had a daughter, Angel
Hamilton, who married her cousin John Hamilton, Counselor-at-Law, of Edenton, North
Carolina. Of Mrs. Caner's family, the Pecks, I may add that one of her sisters married the
father of the Right Reverend Bishop Jarvis, the grandfather of the distinguished Dr. Farmer
Jarvis. Another sister, Elizabeth, married Reverend Jeremiah Learning, D.D. The writer has
several old books out of Dr. Learning's Library — given to his sister-in-law Mrs. Caner. With the
descendants of Dr. Jarvis, Mrs. Hall of New London, and Madame Mauoir of Geneva, Switzer-
land, I have long had the pleasure of an acquaintance. — R. L. F.
t Rev. Richard Caner was the son of Henry Caner of New Haven, Conn., and a half brother
of the Rev. Henry Caner, the minister of the historic King's Chapel, Boston, Massachusetts.
His mother was the widow of Jonathan Cutler. The Rev. Richard Caner graduated at Yale
College in 173(5. He went to England and was ordained Priest of the Church of England while
there. He then came back to his native land. In 17-11 he was assistant to his brother, the
Rev. Dr. Henry Caner. In 1745 he was made Rector of St. Andrew's Parish, Staten Island, N. Y.,
but he died three months subsequent to his induction, in his twenty-eighth year. His widow,
as mentioned above, became the wife of Rev. John Hamilton. His daughter was the wife of
my ancestor, Col. Charles Rumsey.
R. L. F.
Colonel Charles Eumsey took his military title from the fact
that before the Revolution he was the Commander of the Elk
battalion of Maryland Volunteers. William, his brother, was a
Major in the Bohemia battalion. In 1775, Colonel Charles was
one of the signers of the Declaration of the Freemen of Maryland,
a document similar in character to the more celebrated and sub-
sequent Declaration of Independence. At the outbreak of the
Revolution Colonel Charles wished to see active service, but
having a young family and county interests, his duty seemed
equally well performed whenever the danger was pressing. At
other times he remained in his own county. He was made the
County Lieutenant of Cecil County and possessed extensive
powers. This office seems to have been similar to that of County
Lieutenant in an English county. It certainly indicates his
relative position in his own neighborhood. His commission as
County Lieutenant is as follows :
" The State of Maryland to
" Charles Rumsey, Esq., greeting :
" Be it known that, reposing especial trust and confidence in
your fidelity, courage, good conduct and attachment to the liber-
ties and independence of America, you are by these presents con-
stituted and appointed Lieutenant of Cecil County. You are
therefore carefully and diligently to discharge the trust reposed
in you by disciplining all officers and soldiers under your com-
mand, and they are hereby strictly enjoined and required to obey
you as Lieutenant of Cecil County aforesaid.
" And you are to observe and follow all such orders and
directions as you shall from time to time receive, according to the
laws and constitution of this State, and the rules and regulations
which, under the authority thereof, are or may be established.
" This commission is to be in force until lawfully revoked.
" Given at Annapolis, this first day of July, a.d. 1777.
" In Council.
" Th. Johnson."
On May 17th, 1777, Governor Johnson, of Maryland, wrote
to Colonel Rumsey as follows :
" In Council, Annapolis, May 17th, 1777.
" We enclose you the account received last night and this
morning of the enemy's being in the bay, and having landed a
body of men at Portsmouth, in Virginia. We have nothing yet
that points out their object; perhaps they may design to spread
destruction as wide as they can. We request you to give imme-
diate notice to the militia of your county to prepare and hold
themselves in readiness to march on the first order, which you are
to give, if you see it necessary. If you are called upon to assist
any of the other counties, you are to order such part and propor-
tion of the militia of your county on that service as you can spare
and may be necessary. If there should be occasion to call out the
Eastern Shore Militia the intercourse between us will probably be
so much interrupted that we shall not be able to give orders from
time to time as desirable. To prevent, as far as may be, incon-
venience from that circumstance, the gentry on the Eastern Shore
— officers and privates — will, we hope, act with all possible vigor
their strength will allow, and with all possible concert, for the
protection of the whole. We do not know how far we may be
able to assist you; as far as we can, we certainly shall.
"We are, dear sir,
" Your most obed't ser'ts,
" W. Johnson.
"To Colonel Rumsey."
The following letters are among those written during the
Revolution, by persons of distinction, to Colonel Rumsey :
Lord Stirling to Colonel Rumsey.
" Basking Ridge, March 26, 1777.
" Dear Sir :
" Next Friday being appointed for holding a further treaty
or a cartel for the exchange of prisoners between the two armies,
it is his Excellency General Washington's express orders to the
army under his command that all offensive operations on our side
are to cease on that day. You, sir, will please give tHe necessary
directions to the troops under your command.
" I am, sir,
" Your most obedient,
" Stirling, M. G-.
" To Colonel Rumsey."
General Washington to Colonel Rumsey.
" Headquarters, Morristown,
"Sir: "29th March, 1777.
"After returning my sincere thanks to you and the other
officers of your battalion for your services since your arrival in this
State, I am under the necessity, however painful to me, of request-
ing you to remain at your present post a few days longer, not
having it in my power at present to relieve you. I am sensible
of the disadvantages which must, of course, accrue to you and
many of your battalion by being from home the approaching
season; but when you consider our situation, and that I only
want you to stay until the troops — now on their march from
Philadelphia — arrive, I flatter myself I need not add a word more
to induce you to this necessary step than that your marching the
first of April will leave that useful post entirely defenceless.
" If you would agree to remain eight days longer I am
satisfied it will answer every purpose, and I think cannot mate-
rially injure you. If you find the men are dissatisfied, go at the
time appointed. You will please order the arms, etc., to be
delivered to the persons appointed by Lord Stirling to receive
" I am, sir,
" Your most obed't serv't,
" George Washington.
" To Colonel Eumsey."
Mr. McWilliams to Colonel Eumsey.
" Headquarters, Basking Ridge,
" Dear Sir : " March 11, 1777.
" I have it in command from Major-General Lord Stirling to
inform you that the party from your battalion intended for a
scout must hold themselves in readiness to march early to-morrow
morning. His Lordship also requests the favor of you and
Colonel Hollingsworth to dine with him to-day. I believe he
wants to see you immediately on business.
" I am, sir,
" Your most humble serv't,
" Wm. McWilliams, A. D. C.
" To Colonel Eumsey."
I have access to but two letters of Colonel Eumsey 's, written
while he was on active duty in the field. One to Lord Stirling is
as follows :
" Quibbletown, March 20th, 1777.
" My Lord :
" Agreeable to your Lordship's order, although late in the
day, the remaining part of my battalion marched for this place,
the waggons and one of the companies not yet arrived, owing, I
suppose, to the time they set off and the badness of the road. I
found Colonel Hollingsworth engaged in foraging to be executed
this morning, and, by information, our men are much fatigued in
scouting and guarding, etc. The extent we have to guard is
large in proportion to the number of our men. Captain George
H. Scott's men are extremely active, and better acquainted with
the ground than our men ; and part of them being on the foraging
party to-day, would further trust on your Lordship's indulgence
than disappoint the party in sending Captain Scott's company
from them to-day. Your Lordship's orders by the light horse-
man, sent up respecting Captain Scott's men, shall be punctually
" Your Lordship's most obed't serv't,
" Charles Rumsey."
Another side to Colonel Rumsey 's character, is shown in a
letter of too private a nature for general publication, but not amiss
in a volume for his own family :
" Phil., Feb. 24, 1777, at night.
" My Dearest Life :
" I have written to you by Dr. Morrow, but, as he may not
set off directly, take an opportunity by a gentleman who sets off
in the morning. It has snowed here all day, but I hope four of
the companies will depart in the morning, or some time in the
day, commanded by Colonel Hollingsworth and Major Straw-
bridge. General Gates thinks it best my staying to set off with
the other companies, as two of them are in town, and Hezekiah
South is expected to-morrow. I hope in a few days to leave with
them and Major Parker. We shall be well provided with neces-
saries. Pray keep up your spirits, as you now unavoidably act
for us both. There is a letter to the Council of Safety that our
men have taken about twenty foraging wagons and a few provis-
ions, and that General Howe is at Brunswick with a small
reinforcement, who are on a move, but I do not know which way ;
the snow must stop them awhile.
" I am your affec'te husband,
" Charles Eumsey."
Colonel Charles Rumsey had one brother, Benjamin Rumsey,
who was a judge in Maryland and, prior to the Revolution, a
member of the colonial bar. This gentleman lived at Joppa, on
an arm of the Chesapeake, formerly a town more important than
Baltimore, but all the houses of this once prosperous place, except-
ing the ancient and fine one occupied by Judge Kumsey himself,
have been removed by his descendants, and the titles to the town
lots merged in the same . proprietor, John Beal Rumsey, Esq., of
Baltimore County. "Joppa" was afterwards sold by this gentle-
man to a Scotchman named Murray, a son of an Edinburgh lawyer,
whose family in Scotland became, in consequence, acquaintances of
the writer and his family. The last Scotch inheritor of this place,
Mr. James Murray, on his death, considerately left "Joppa"
again to his friend, a descendant of the Rumsey family, and our
mother's cousin german. The interesting features of " Joppa "
are contained in a study published in the Johns Hopkins Univer-
sity Studies. The writer has passed many a pleasant day at this
old place so full of associations of colonial Maryland.
Judge Rumsey (Colonel Charles' brother) married Miss
Mary Hall, and their daughter married her cousin, Henry
Rumsey, son of Colonel Charles. Their son Charles married a
daughter of Colonel John Beal Howard, and has numerous issue.*
Colonel Charles had two other brothers, John Rumsey of Pine Grove,
who married Miss Rice of Wilmington. John's descendant is now
the wife of the Reverend Mr. Brinkley, an old resident of Wil-
mington, Delaware. William Rumsey, the other brother of
Colonel Charles, was accidentally shot at a military funeral. He
married Susanna Rigbie, daughter of Colonel Nathan Rigbie.
Colonel Charles Rumsey had eight children, Thomas (1), m.
Harriet Sykes ; f Elizabeth (2), m. Colonel Abraham Broom, U. S.
* Issue given under Colonel Charles' descendants.
t Had issue —
Dr. James Kumsey married his cousin, Harriet Caverly, in 1837 (sister to the late Mrs.
De Lancey Verplanck), and had the following children :
(1) Harriet Matilda.
(2) Elizabeth Campbell.
(3) Charlotte A.
(4) Julia A.
(5) Lucy Matilda.
(6) J. Caverly.
A. ; * Henry C. (3),f m. Hannah, daughter of Judge Bumsey, in
1789; Benjamin (4), born in 1772, m. Mary Clark ; J Charlotte
Jane (5), m. Dr. John Bull us ; § Harriet (6), m. Thomas Ellison, an
old proprietor in New York, and one of the most respected fam-
ilies of the Province of New York.|| (7) Ann Bumsey, our great-
* Mrs. Broom had —
(1) Charles, Col. U. S. A.
(2) Thomas, m. Miss DeShields.
(3) Hetty, m. Captain Hall, TJ. S. A.
(4) Mary, m. Colonel Edwards, U. S. A.
(6) And other issue,
t Henry had—
(2) Amelia, m. Rev. Dr. Sappington.
(3) Charles, m, Caroline Blanche Howard in 1820 ; their issue John Beal m. Fannie
Evans, daughter of Hugh W. Evans, in I860, and has six sons and three daughters ; Mary J. m.
Charles John Bullua.
t (1) Charles.
(3) George C.
(4) Eliza B.
§ Mrs. Bullus had—
(1) Commodore Oscar Bullus, U. S. N., m. Amanda Moscrop ; had—
(1) Elizabeth, m. Major Updegraff, U. 8. A.
(2) Charlotte J., m. William Bleecker, U. S. N.
(3) Caroline Constance.
(4) Amanda M., m. Dr. Taylor, U. S. N.
(2) Dr. Edward, m. Eliza A. Ellison ; had—
(1) Emily, m. Arthur Stewart Hamilton.
(2) William, m. Emma E. Kissam.
(3) Albert, m. Mary Jean Porterfleld Hollings worth.
(3) Dr. Robert, m. Sophia, daughter of General Jacob Morton ; had—
(1) J. Morton.
(4) Charlotte, m. Dr. Knox ; had —
(1) J. Charlotteson.
(6) Charles John, m. Mary J. Rumsey ; had no issue.
II Thomas Ellison, m. Harriet Rumsey ; their children-
ID Mary Jane, m. Thomas J. De Lancey.
(1) Their son James m. Frances Bibby. No issue.
(2) Eliza A. Ellison, m. Edward Bullus ; had—
(4) Emily. (Hamilton.)
(5) Albert, m. M. J. P. Hollingsworth.
(6) William, m. Emma E. Kissam.
(3) John Ellison, m. M. A. Ross ; had —
(1) Robert R., m. Catherine E. Morton.
(2) Charles L., m. Harriet Morton.
(4) Henrietta, m. Charles Morton, U. S. A. ; had —
(3) Caroline, m. Dr. J. W. Greene.
(4) George, m. Catherine La Bagh.
(5) Ellison M., m. Clara Benjamin.
grandmother, b. April 8, 1778, d. February 5, 1876, m. Jean
Baptiste Orso* of New Orleans, in 1796.
(8.) Mary, the youngest daughter of Colonel Charles Rumsey,
died unmarried, in 1780.
Colonel Charles Rumsey died in 1780, at the early age of
forty-four, but his widow lived to an advanced age, dying in the
year 1827. Although she was born in the year 1746, and had
talked with persons born in the reign of Charles II., some of our
family still living have talked with her. A clergyman's daughter
of the Church of England in the Colonies, Mra. Charles Rumsey
was for that time an unusually educated woman. Two of her
daughters, Mrs. Bullus and our great-grandmother, Mrs. Orso,
I knew personally. Of Mrs. Bullus' life, an obituary in the
(6) Caroline, m. Edward Morton ; had—
(1) Margaret, m. Aymar VanBuren.
(2) Emily L.
(3) Charlotte A.
(4) Edmund Quincy.
(6) Emily, m. John Morton ; had—
(1) Catherine E., m. Kobert E. Ellison.
(2) Harriet, m. Charles L. Ellison.
(3) Mary L., m. Adolphus Smedberg; and had—
(1) Harry A.
(7) Thomas, m. (1) Mrs. (Rosb) Ellison ; had—
(1) Mary Adelaide.
(2) Thomas William.
(2) Elizabeth Baker ; had—
(1) Matilda C.
(8) Charlotte, m. W. C. Maitland ; had—
(2) Robert, m. Elizabeth S. Lee.
(3) Martha, m. James L. Bishop.
(9) William, died young.
* Mrs. Orso's descendants were —
(1) Charlotte Orso, m. William Y. Day, Esq.; had—
(1) Edward Augustus, m. Laura Ogle.
(3) Orso, m. Miss Drake.
(2) Louisa Orso, m. Robert Ludlow Powell ; had—
(3) Mary Ludlow, m. I. Sebring Fowler ; had—
(1) Robert Ludlow, m. Julia Groesbeck.
(2) Thomas Powell, m. Isabelle Dunning.
(4) Louisa (Mrs. W. Rea Bronk).
(4) Henrietta, m. Dr. W. A. M. Culbert ; had—
(1) Frances R.
New York limes of February, 1868, by Hamilton Morton, Esq.,*
makes accurate mention. It is as follows :
"On Tuesday, February 23d, Mrs. Charlotte Jane Bullus,
relict of Dr. John Bullus and daughter of Colonel Charles
Rumsey of Maryland, died in the 89th year of her age.
" With her has probably passed away, with a single excep-
tion, the only living witness to one of the dastardly outrages
perpetrated upon the honor of the then young and comparatively
weak Republic of the United States by Great Britain, during the
year 1807, in attacking while at peace the unsuspecting frigate
Chesapeake, killing a number of her crew and forcibly taking
from on board three American seaman with one British deserter,
under the arrogant and baseless assumption of the right of
impressment and search. The long and honored life vouchsafed
to this lady has enabled her to see that same contemned
and maligned country rise to a moral greatness and physical
power, making her capable, if so disposed, of visiting upon her
once overbearing oppressor scathing rebuke. Happily, however,
for both, a respect and deference, although coerced, have been
created, which, under the teaching of ' the Sermon on the Mount,'
grasping hands beneath the sea, steamships and the press have
matured into a bond of union which the remembrance of ancient
wrongs will not be permitted to disturb.
" The lady, whose decease is noticed, was with her husband
and three young children, among them Oscar, now Commodore
Bullus, of the United States Navy, on board the ill-starred frigate
Chesapeake, Commodore Barron, and at the dinner table in the
cabin, when that vessel was fired into by the British frigate
Leopard, Captain Humphries. Dr. Bullus was on his way to a
consulate in the Mediterranean.
" The audacious outrage upon the Chesapeake grew out of
the long ago abandoned and always odious assumption of the right
of search and impressment, never before adventured except upon
merchant vessels. Four seamen, alleged deserters of the British
Navy, were reported to have entered the service of the United
States and been received on board the Chesapeake, at that time
lying in Hampton Roads preparing for the Mediterranean.
* The writer, Hamilton Morton, was the son of General Jacob Morton by Catherine,
daughter of Cary Ludlow. Esq. He was the nephew of Mrs. Josiah Quincy of Boston, and of
Washington Morton, who married Cornelia, daughter of General Philip Schuyler. Hamilton
Morton was likewise the brother of Mrs. Robert Bullus. R. L. F.
" The American Government having refused to permit the
Chesapeake to be searched, Admiral Berkeley, commander of the
British fleet on the Halifax Station, ordered the commander of a
squadron within the capes of the Delaware to follow the Chesa-
peake beyond the waters of the United States, and then get from
her by force, if necessary, the reputed deserters. This service
was undertaken by Captain Humphries of the Leopard, a frigate
mounting at the time fifty guns.
" The Chesapeake left port wholly unapprised of any intended
aggression, too monstrous, indeed, to have been credited, even if
avowed. Her commander could not, however, be excused for a
want of Military preparation in going to sea with a crew, of
whom a large proportion were yet to learn their duty, an arma-
ment of but thirty-five guns, and but one shotted.
" The Leopard followed the Chesapeake to sea, and having
made a signal to speak, the latter 'hove to' on the starboard tack.
Commodore Barron mentioned his supposition that probably some
despatches were desired to be forwarded to Gibraltar. The
Leopard having ranged up to windward, sent an officer on board
the Chesapeake, who announced her object to be a demand for the
alleged deserters, which being promptly rejected, an attack was
commenced by the Leopard firing one division, followed quickly
by the rest of the broadside, into the Chesapeake.
" On board of the 'ill-starred ship ' nothing was in condition
to repel or punish the outrage. The crew were not at quarters,
the wet hempen cables of the day were coiled over and lumbered
many of the guns. Unusual disarray existed, and the only
shotted gun was fired into the Leopard by Lieutenant Allen, who
some years subsequently was killed on board the United States
" Mrs. Bullus, with her young children, was removed from
the cabin to a place of safety. Dr. Bullus remained on deck
during the whole affair. After the firing had ceased, Mrs.
Bullus returned to the cabin, and in its vicinity the following
scene occurred :
" An officer from the Leopard came on board the Chesapeake
(reported to be sinking) with a message from. Captain Humphries
to Dr. Bullus, suggesting the removal of his family to the
Leopard. Dr. Bullus (before in the navy), whose patriotism and
indignation had been sternly aroused, repelled the suggestion and
also conveyed to the official visitor, in terms so unmeasured and
unmistakable, his own opinion of the outrage perpetrated upon
the honor of his country by Captain Humphries as to induce the
party addressed to place his hand upon his sword ; whereupon
Dr. Bullus, seizing a sword from the side of a bystander, opened a
cut and thrust combat in singular contrast, as to equality, with
the so-called one to which it was a sequel, but which speedy inter-
position prevented resulting disastrously to either party.
" The orders of Admiral Berkeley were immediately dis-
avowed by the British Government, and himself removed from
the American station, but only to receive a higher appointment
on another. Four of the crew of the Chesapeake were killed and
sixteen wounded. Of the impressed seamen, three were natives
of America. About four years after this occurrence, some pro-
vision was made by the British Government to support the sea-
men who had been disabled, together with the families of the men
killed or wounded, and the two impressed Americans remaining
alive were restored upon the same deck from which they had
been wrested, the Chesapeake being then in the harbor of Boston.
" After the affair with the Leopard, the Chesapeake returned
" Dr. Bullus relinquished the Consulate appointment and
received that of Navy Agent for the Port of New York, which he
held for many years, and was the intimate friend and hospitable
entertainer of all the old school of naval officers and heroes, as
well as our most prominent citizens. During the war of 1812,
his patriotism and indefatigable zeal were availed of and recog-
nized by Commodore Chauncey, in accomplishing with astonishing
despatch the transformation of growing trees of the forest into
formidable squadrons of the lakes.
" Fear not till Birnam wood do come to Dunsinane.
And now a wood doth come."
" The last of the grand ancient race of the men and women of
our olden time have about passed away. May the patriotism,
high moral and chivalric characteristics of the men, the Christian
purity, benevolence and educated intelligence of the women, not
find dim reflection in the social, civil and political circles of to-day,
which are morally degraded, if verifying that —
" The good have fallen from us one by one,
As falls the patriarch of the forest trees.
The wind shall seek them vainly, and the sun
Gaze on the vacant spot for centuries."
Of our great-grandmother, Ann Kumsey (Mrs. Orso), the
sister of Mrs. Bullus, it is a constant pleasure to think. Of course,
she was, when the writer first knew her, an aged woman ; but
afterwards, and when she was upwards of ninety years of age, her
manners were still most interesting. To herself, her great age
was an accident of her personality, one never to be alluded to
unless she broached it, and if it was noticed, she received the
comment with that response only which courtesy made imper-
ative. She had a horror of being a phenomenon. Her charm
was in a repose, dignity and strong sense rarely equalled.
Never did she employ a solecism, and her most commonplace
remark had an intonation and a fitness requiring approbation.
Notwithstanding her seclusion from society for many years
of her life, when she saw few persons excepting occasionally mem-
bers of her family, the Ellisons and the Rumseys, her manner
remained faultlessly correct, modest, sincere, kindly and most
self-respecting. Her's was a manner rail of past association and
interest. Yet it is not my intention to convey the impression that
this lady was a prodigy. She was too well-bred to emphasize an
emotion and far too sincere to attitudinize. It was the solidity of
her understanding, her unfailing dignity and worth, which made
her so attractive to those who could comprehend her.
Her estimate of people, of politics, of all phases of life, was
very critical and accurate. No artificial environment clouded
her appreciation of persons, and she never offended by criticism.
Indeed, she had none of the vagaries or whimsicalities of old age.
How many times I noticed that her shades of expression were
conveyed in a way intended to conciliate the simpler prejudices of
those about her — prejudices with which she could not sympathize.
While she might not assent to the importance of her neighbor
in his own eyes, there was never a derogation from him, and he
was at least respectable.
This sketch has been amplified, because Mrs. Orso (Ann Rum-
sey), was to us a living link between the older civilization and the
new. She was born before the United States was formed, yet she
died comparatively recently, a remarkable instance of longevity.
BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 9999 06440 585 3
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